Balaji Srinivasan: The Network State

“Very few institutions that predated the internet will survive the internet.”Balaji S. Srinivasan is an angel investor and entrepreneur, formerly the CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. In this first episode of the podcast he discusses what he refers to as “The Network State” - a network of cyberspace-based polities that enable their members to collectively negotiate with existing jurisdictions, crowdfund territory, and coordinate on common interests. Music: Just As Soon by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100185Artist: http://incompetech.com/Remarks: The length of this recording has been altered. I Knew a Guy by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100199Artist: http://incompetech.com/Remarks: The length of this recording has been altered. 

--:--
--:--

Balaji Srinivasan: The Network State

“Very few institutions that predated the internet will survive the internet.”Balaji S. Srinivasan is an angel investor and entrepreneur, formerly the CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. In this first episode of the podcast he discusses what he refers to as “The Network State” - a network of cyberspace-based polities that enable their members to collectively negotiate with existing jurisdictions, crowdfund territory, and coordinate on common interests. Music: Just As Soon by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100185Artist: http://incompetech.com/Remarks: The length of this recording has been altered. I Knew a Guy by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100199Artist: http://incompetech.com/Remarks: The length of this recording has been altered. 

0:00
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
I think we can build the semi-autonomous startup cities that are permitted by existing governments, if we have enough people that can collectively bargain. And eventually we can get to like the inaudible and Mars colonies. But step one is just getting people online to group together, to think of themselves as a people, and to start collectively bargaining. Even with companies, by the way, to get 100 people to collectively bargain with a company to get a lower price for masks, right? And this is something where you take two seemingly opposed things, which is the progressive concept of unions, and the libertarian concepts of mobility and competitive government and the individual, and you take this thesis and antithesis and you have the synthesis of the sovereign collective. And I think that's a really important concept.]
0:53
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
This is a conversation with Balaji Srinivasan on The Network State. Balaji is an angel investor and entrepreneur. Formally the CTO of Coinbase and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, he was also the co-founder of earn.com, council, teleport, and coin center. He holds a PhD in electric engineering and an MS in chemical engineering, all from Stanford, where he still teaches the occasional class. And his Twitter bio is summed up as immutable money, infinite frontier, eternal life, Bitcoin. He has now turned his attention to the creation of a network state. In particular, Apollos with a transhumanist mission, which starts with a virtual university, Bootstraps, a digital economy, and can be fought to create new opt-in polities. Such cloud cities should allow their members to collectively negotiate with existing jurisdictions and crowdfund territory in the real world. With the internet as the main governance mechanism, even those physical communities could become increasingly decentralized.]
1:48
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
In this conversation, we cover the interplay between the sovereign individual and the sovereign collective, the network as the Leviathan, how encryption becomes a basis for a new system of rights, the rise of virtual worlds with their own crypto economies as alternative to the default paradigm, how the transnational nature leads to competition for citizens, and how to prepare for the shift. He has a book coming out at balaji.com. This conversation is part of foresight's intelligent corporation Group, a small group dedicated to leveraging computer science and crypto commerce to improve cooperation across human and other intelligences. You can find the lecture notes and program, which is based on a book draft by Mark Miller, Christine Peterson, and myself, at inaudible.org. And you can apply to join.]
2:44
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So basically just as kind of a prequel here, I'm actually coming out with a book and an app, and so on unrelated to all this, if you go to inaudible.com/signup, you can just sign up for the email, it'll be free and everything. I'll just send out my book link and app link when that's ready. I think I'm building something which I think of as the first book app, where imagine you had a Bible which had calls to action embedded in the middle, right? An obvious concept that I don't think anybody has done where like the to-dos and so on. You don't just have the 10 commandments, you have a checklist and you have tasks, and so on that are actually within that. I think it's going to be cool.]
3:34
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So basically, how does every country become a software country? We know that technology allows you to start your own company, that's Google, to start your own community, Facebook, to start your own currency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the current crypto boom, I think the fourth or the fifth, depending on how you count. And I think eventually it allows us to start our own cities and countries, and that's what I'm going to talk about. Right now we are here and we are going here. In the fundamental construct that I think about in this context is something I call the network state. And the idea is that digital currency is part of the fundamental shift in human organization. Really a return from sheer geography to shared ideas. So on the left, you have a nation state like Russia, where the geography is primary, and the ideology is secondary. The same country was running the intellectual software of communism and swapped it out for nationalism, but the geography remained constant and the ideology changed.]
4:40
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
By contrast, on the right-hand side, we have what I think of as a inaudible network state like Ethereum, where you have a large group of people organized by a shared belief and the belief is primary, but the geography is secondary. They can mass in China or in Mexico. You have a community of millions of people that are transnational, and they're unified by social networks and cryptocurrencies and shared belief as opposed to necessarily shared geography. And the thing about this is I think that the first step towards actually building a physical networks as I'll come to, is that what we're doing is we're using technology to facilitate collective bargaining with existing governments. Now, I actually created this slide four or five years ago, and I've talked to this concept like almost for 10 years. And you're starting to see things like, for example, wall street bets, right?]
5:35
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Where you have a collection of millions of people that are actually able to exert leverage on existing institutions where it's like a bottom up organization that forms into something that has a kind of leverage. I think one of the biggest things, conceptual things for everybody here to think about is this concept of Crowd Choice, which is not the sovereign individual, it's a sovereign collective. Okay. It's a group of people who gets together and who aggregates their preferences of silty collective bargain in existing governments. To give some examples, Elon Musk got a bunch of people to, or a little bunch of states to compete for Tesla's factory. That's like proto Crowd Choice, where you have thousands of Tesla employees effectively, collectively bargaining with the state with Elon Musk as the union leader.]
6:25
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And you have the FreeState project where you have crowd migration and you have sites like teleport.org or Nomad List, which are search engines for digital nomads. If you put those three concepts together, right? A, the concept of a leader who collective bargains on behalf of this people, B, the idea of mass migration for belief and, C, new search engines and social networks that are based around mass migration on the basis of ideology, you get this concept of Crowd Choice where you can move from what I call 51% democracy to 100% democracy. 51% democracy is what we currently have, where you have 51% can outfoot 49% and impose their will, and then four years later, it switches and now the other 2% switches sides and then it switches the other way. And so you have something where it's like a Fosbury flop, it's a minimum consent to operate a state 51% consents.]
7:19
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The alternative is something where you go for like 100% consent because the root of democracy is consensual government, the consent of the government. A consent of the governed is what legitimizes it. So if you could get 100% democracy, that would actually be better than 51%, the way you can get that is with Crowd Choice. With Crowd Choice, and again, I'm just giving an overview, I'll go into a lot more detail. I think we can build the semi-autonomous startup cities that are permitted by existing governments, if we have enough people that can collectively bargain. And eventually we can get to like the inaudible and Mars colonies. But step one is just getting people online to group together, to think of themselves as a people, and to start collectively bargaining. Even with companies, by the way, to get 100 people to click Lee bargain with the company, to get a lower price for masks, right?]
8:03
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And this is something where you take two seemingly opposed things which is the progressive concept of unions, and the libertarian concepts of mobility and competitive government and the individual, and you take this thesis and antithesis and you have the synthesis of the sovereign collective. And I think that's a really important concept. Okay. So what is, that's just a preview, let's talk about how we actually go into a little more detail. So what are the technological drivers of the networks shape? Why it's actually feasible today? So, you're probably familiar with this book, The Sovereign Individual where the concept is that technology is the driving force of history, and technology determines what political ideas are feasible at a given time. So this is very different than many political thinkers who think that the ideas are what's important. In a sense, all of these ideas have been floating around forever, and it's just what's feasible at a given time.]
8:56
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So in the 20th century technology favorite centralization, you had mass media and mass production. That's what caused a few folks be able to set up these inaudible states of the US and the USSR and China, and whatnot, and in a favorite centralization, and if you go both backward and forward in time, it favors de-centralization. You go backward in time, let's say 1950 is peak centralization, so you have one telephone company, and two superpowers, and three television stations in like roughly 1950. You go both backward and forward in time and you decentralize, you have lots of power centers, you have the robber barons, you have private currencies, you have private banking. And eventually you go all the way back to 1776, and you have a bunch of pseudonymous people who started a new state with the Federalist papers.]
9:42
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And then you go forward in time and you get the decentralization of media and the internet and cryptocurrencies, and that's what's happening now, right? And once you think of technology as the driving force of history, you realize that any idea you come up with, you want to actually assess it for its technological feasibility, or look at any institution and ask yourself whether it is still technologically competitive. In many ways, what's happening is we have these 20th century, 19th century, 18th century paper-based institutions that simply were not set up for the internet. Very few institutions that predated the internet will survive the internet. So technology is the driving force of history, and as again, this is a thesis you're probably familiar with, but the ability to organize violence is changing. If property is cryptography, it doesn't matter if you have a million person army, no amount of violence consults certain kinds of math problems as inaudible put it.]
10:34
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And just to give you a bunch of headlines, Bitcoin means capital controls are now packet filtering, inaudible printing means regulation is now DRM, the state is less capable of introducing the possession of physical objects from drones to prosthetics to inaudible printed guns, quantify itself is actually changing the doctor, patient relationship. Your medical license is becoming your software license as more and more of the data becomes local, you can swap between different doctors to interpret it via telemedicine, which is finally being legalized in the US due to the whole COVID shock. And so it becomes something also where a significant amount of interpretation of that data is actually done by algorithms. This is when people tell me, "Oh, how can computer scientists get into medicine?" And I say, "Well, what's the doctor actually doing? They're prescribing lab tests, they're reading charts. Do you know who wrote the code that actually produces those diagnostic reports? Well, that's increasingly a software CEO that's running a clinical lab or a biomedical CEO that does a lot of software."]
11:40
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And so more and more medicine is actually being taken over by software. Who's programming the instruments of Boston scientific would have you, who's programming the MRIs or the CAT scans, those are all software engineers. And then you're making the decision. The doctor is making a decision inaudible, but there's an enormous amount of the actual supply chain that's going into this, which is basically, software as opposed to a government granted medical license, a significant amount of the decisions that are being made in this supply chain, this information supply chain, are being made by software engineers. It's not really perceived yet, but it means over time, your medical license becomes your software license as more and more of your genomic data, other data becomes data local. Okay.]
12:24
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Another concept, telepresence versus borders. Your immigration policy is now your firewall. And again, I gave a talk on a lot of this stuff in 2013, it keeps coming about, the sovereign individual is even earlier, of course, but Edward Snowden moving across borders to telepresence, the remote economy which COVID has catalyzed means that work is not just doable around the corner, but around the world. And for a long time, I thought what was going to be the step function for remote because Slack and other things are making it better year by year. And I thought it might be VR or something like that, and it turned out to be a cultural step function. And so one of the consequences of that, if you take the Boston dynamics robots, and you take this Edward Snowden, these telepresence kind of things, and you put them together, by 2030 or thereabouts, maybe sooner, we will be able to step into like a VR suit and just animate a robot on the other side of the world.]
13:20
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Right. And I don't know if there's a movie called Surrogates, it's actually a pretty good Sci-Fi vision of this. Inaudible sees a concern of course, but you can do compensation, a lot of the video game stuff actually be helpful for this, where you can do prediction. Most of the time, you're not doing something where you immediately jerk like this. So maybe you might not be able to do robot fighting, but a lot of robot walking and other kinds of things, you could probably make it feel very natural. And that changes all kinds of immigration conversations because you could teleport in a laborer, for example, who could do tasks and then come back home. And that person wouldn't have to leave their culture. They could stay at home and still earn cryptocurrency or something like that across borders. They could come and tell a presently. So this changes all kinds of immigration conversations. It means your immigration policy is now your firewall.]
14:08
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Another example, GoPros versus police testimony. So body cams mean that video evidence is more trusted than the sworn word of an officer of the state. So the state is just less trustworthy than the network. The network is taking over. Encryption versus search warrants. Encryption means that your ability to perform a search is your ability to decrypt a file, right? So, the FBI director lashes out at Apple and Google for encrypting smartphones, going dark encryption is more powerful than even the federal government. Social networks versus a jury of peers. So this is a great article from actually almost 12 years ago where a Facebook status update provide an alibi. And so your most indisputable exculpatory evidence is now online. It's not your peers in the physical world testifying that you didn't do it, it is your status update. It is that cryptograph, eventually cryptographically, verifiable timestamp.]
15:04
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
With healthcare.gov, you have the state basically failing and you have half a dozen technologists that out did all this, the US government's efforts on healthcare.gov with warfare. Okay. There's a great clip over here from 2014, versus the suspected North Korean cyber attack. It says, "Mr. Obama has been hesitant to use the country's cyber arsenal to retaliate for fear of North Korean retaliation," right? Now think about that by the way, what a huge shift versus the war in Iraq, there was no fear that Iraq was going to, I mean, maybe there was some paranoid kind of thing, but there was no real fear that Iraq was going to be able to launch missiles or something against the US, but when it comes to cybersecurity, network security, a small country can defend itself or rather more precisely, everybody can play off offense. Defense is harder.]
15:59
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
But small countries suddenly start to become able to defend themselves against the aggression of large states like the US. When you think about the Navy's newest warship is powered by Lennox, what is happening is gradually, as more and more stuff switches over to drones, as more and more stuffs are sort of robotics, as more and more of these military systems sort of being software controlled, it's not about who has the most manpower and material and guns, it's about who has the best engineers who can hack the other side's drones and win. And so the return on having huge numbers of people is diminishing. I like a lot of what Matta Glazier says, but I think 1 billion robots will definitely beat 1 billion Americans. I don't think you need lots and lots of people anymore.]
16:50
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
12 people from Instagram were able to defeat, I think, at least 12,000 from Kodak. And so I think that the leverage in warfare is changing. The entire logic of warfare is changing. The way states are set up is changing. And the legacy will still be operational for a while, but this is a 10, 20, 30 year kind of process. Maybe shorter, maybe longer, inaudible it tends to accelerate things. Okay. You put all these pieces together, and what do we get? We essentially get something where a new Leviathan is entering the picture. The way I think about this is that the most powerful force in the world, the Leviathan is shifting, it is moving away from the state to encrypted computer networks. And the only states that survive are those that become fused with the network that gain properties of the state. So, or properties of the network.]
17:45
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
This kind of triptych, this Trinity over here, this progression of Leviathan is something I think about a lot. God state network and the network has the next Leviathan, the irresistible force hovering above that makes fallible men behave in pro social ways. Okay. So just to understand this on the left, we have God, and in the 1800s of why didn't people steal, they didn't steal because God would smite them. The most powerful force was the church. And people actually believed in God in a way that modern people don't fully understand. They thought of God as like an active force in the world. And that's kind of why it was sort of adaptive to say, "Oh, that's a God-fearing man." Because this powerful man, this powerful person who could do things and nobody could watch them or really check them if they still feared God, if they truly field hell fire for doing something wrong, outside the view of someone else, their private decision-making might be better. They actually really believed and feared that punishment, right?]
18:47
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So that's why a God-fearing man, even if you didn't believe in God, you might want somebody who believed in a traditional view of God, because they might be better behaved. And it's conventional, of course, for atheists to say, "Oh, well, what are you saying, without God you wouldn't behave well?" And then many of those same atheists will say, "What! You crazy libertarians, you want to remove the inaudible," and everyone will shoot each other, right? So that brings us to the next Leviathan as by the late 1800s, enough intellectuals no longer believed in God, Nietzsche wrote God is dead. Well, you needed a new force to keep men in order. And that was a state. That's essentially the uniform police forces, the boys in blue, the military, even if you don't believe in God, you believe in the guys who have guns.]
19:34
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And so by the 1900s, why didn't you steal? Because the state would punish them. Of course, some of those states themselves would punish you and steal, such as the USSR so it's a total state. And you have an example in the USSR or where the state was against God, like the USSR dynamite churches stolen famously dynamited this gigantic church in Russia, and turned into a swimming pool so that people would sort of trample upon the previous beliefs of Russians. Later the Russians after they shucked off communism rebuilt that church from photos, which actually really amazing. So that's a state versus God where the state is going head to head hammer and tongs against the prior Leviathan, or you have the 1950s US which is like a God state hybrid.]
20:20
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
If you think about what does the Marine Corps at that time, it's for God and country, right? And for God and country is basically God plus state kind of hybrid. So these Leviathans aren't necessarily always exactly opposed to each other, they can be synthesized. And now in the 2000s, we have a new force. In the 2000s why don't you steal? Because the network won't let you. Either, you lack the private key, or your social network will have opprobrium, or give you opprobrium or both, right? And now, whereas in the 1800s, the most powerful force was the church or the analog within another society. In the 1900s, the most powerful force, the US military, right? Well, in the 2000s, the most powerful force is encryption. And I mentioned a God state hybrid, but there's other hybrids.]
21:12
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
For example, a God network hybrid would be like the Jewish diaspora prior to Israel. Okay? So people who all believe the same thing, they were distributed around the world in a social network that was connected by the low bandwidth mechanism of sending physical mail back and forth in packages, and that's like a God network hybrid. And you have a God state network hybrid. If you think that's something, this bad version is the Islamic state where they use the internet to recruit lots of people to build a religious fundamentalist state in the middle of what used to be Iraq. And I think that you also have now, and this is kind of the topic, is you have the network state hybrids, and there's at least two forms. One is the former a little more familiar with, which is China as maybe a bad version, and Estonia as a good version where an existing state gains the properties of effectively a software company it's as if it's run by a software CEO and fuses with the network.]
22:15
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The good version of that is Estonia with putting all of its services online X road, and so on and so forth. Perhaps the bad version is the Chinese total surveillance state, where AI is watching everything. Now, the Chinese government has actually delivered material results for its people. So it's something where a lot of folks are loyal to the state because of that, their living standards actually have improved dramatically. And the rule is basically simple. Just do not contest the Chinese government on anything. But what they've built, where they've got cameras that can track you from room to room is similar to the all seeing, all knowing God of old. With AI, with constant monitoring, you may not be a God-fearing man, but you are a God-fearing man in China because AI will know if you've done something wrong. It has qualities of computations that are beyond any human.]
23:06
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So that's like the state fusing with the network, but there's also networks that can take on in our, in my view state like properties. And so obviously we're seeing Facebook with lots of users, then you get a higher level come in, not just the daily active user, but a daily inactive hurdler, right? That's Bitcoin, that's cryptocurrency. And by the way, this is all something where people, I think just, everybody's prone to kind of thinking about this revolution is similar to the last. Aaron says, "Oh, cryptocurrencies, well, who uses them?" Well with social networks, the knock of them was, "Oh, everyone's using them, but they're not making money." Right? So with social networks, the use predated the monetization, and with cryptocurrency is the monetization predated the use. In the most literal sense, they made money first before gaining users. Now they've got 100 and something million users it's going to get to a billion. It's very clear, but so, the next big thing never looks quite like the last, just as a digression. So we have these networks that have got communities and-]
24:03
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
... like less, just as a digression. We have these networks that have got communities and they've got currencies, but how did they get geographies; cities and countries? I'll come to this point.]
24:10
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Okay. Encryption is now the most powerful force in the world. The thing is that it is the basis for a new theory of property rights. You go back to Locke and the "legitimate state" is the one that protects property rights. Now, I'll name a state that doesn't and that's San Francisco, and I'll name a state that does, and that's Bitcoin and Ethereum. That's really interesting. You would much rather have your property on the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain than under the tender mercies of the government of San Francisco, which will allow 30,000 car break-ins a year and you can't leave anything outside. Property rights are simply not guaranteed by the state.]
24:48
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Encryption is not just about property rights, it protects freedom of association. You can do meetups, communication, hardware development, software development, crowdfunding, remote control of drones and robots, meetups in territories scouted by robots. The full scope of what it means to have truly encrypted networks, communicating peer to peer, I don't think people have fully thought through. The rise of networks... With encryption as the foundation of a new system of property rights, we can project how things are going to play out. We have virtual worlds with digital currencies, VR and cryptocurrency. That's an obvious thing; virtual reality, plus virtual currency, because you have people in this virtual world who are from the US and Brazil and India and Japan and so on, and they're not going to have their traditional currencies there. You don't want to do some silly interbank conversion every single time someone pays each other in the game, so the game currencies become virtual currencies, become transactional currencies. This is already happening. This is an obvious thing where all the people who were working to make World of Warcraft gold are actually now earning real money.]
25:59
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
It's funny, there's a Far Side cartoon from the eighties, which is mocking the idea that this kid will grow up to play video games for a life. It's got classified ads and it's like, "Save the princess, $15 an hour. Are you great at jumping over inaudible? $3 an hour.", and it's parents who are looking at those classified ads. It's meant to be a joke that, of course, this kid is not going to have a job playing video games in 10 years or 20 years when they grow up, but actually they do because esports is a big thing, and actually many jobs are becoming gamified. Virtual worlds, virtual currencies and I think... People have talked about the consumerization of enterprise. There'll be the gamification of enterprise, not just with emojis, but little micropayments, little crypto credentials earned for many kinds of task completions.]
26:48
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Third is the spread of cloud community. Transnational associations trump local ties. Our states have failed. In the West in particular, I should say, the state has failed in the sense of; whether you're talking public health, talking public schools, police, fire, property rights, basic personal security, power. It's just total collapse. When I say that, it's something where you're just at the beginning of that. You essentially have the generation of people... My friend, Yishan Wong's talking about this. The generation of people who thought about and built things like public infrastructure without turning everything into a political game. Those folks are dying or leaving the scene, and you just have a whole group of folks who just inherited a society that they could never have built. They could never have founded it. They could never have created it, because it's too hard to build anything from scratch. And if you can't build something from scratch, you also don't know how to modify or upgrade existing systems. They're just fragile, and they're particularly fragile in a new shock, like COVID, comes in and people just flail.]
27:59
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
I was warning some of my friends of what's in San Francisco is also going to come to Austin and Miami, because Austin had adopted San Francisco's homeless policies, for example. And now they've managed to bring in California's power outages and whatnot, and probably the fires and other kinds of thing, natural disasters. All of those types of things are, in part, just a function of a poor state, bad government that can't plan. I think we're going to see more and more of that in the West, as the state feels, as it becomes a collective that doesn't deliver anything to you, but asks much of you. I think transnational associations trump local ties.]
28:37
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Though, I will say this; within Austin or San Francisco or something, if you want it to reform the state, what you do is you start a local media company, meaning big scale blog. You just crank out a bunch of articles. Even at $10 per customer acquisition, that's only about less than $10 million to acquire every single person in San Francisco. Then what you do is, you just organize a parallel shadow government online. A social network that's not just a higgledy-piggledy network, but a social tree with a hierarchy as, basically, the shadow mayor of San Francisco and a bunch of shadow folks underneath, who are the CTO and so on and so forth. And you just LARP.]
29:21
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
This network union delivers goods to its people and you join the network union and you are part of this hierarchy and you just live action role-play it as if it was real thing. As it gains scale, it's able to deliver more and more goods by convincing people rather than compelling people. Of course, there's certain goods that you can only deliver with coercion like police forces and so and so forth, but it's remarkable how far you can get with convincing people. This is not a corporate context. This is a social context and you don't, quote, "Run for mayor.", in the sense of; wait for this Kabuki two or four year election cycle, where there's all these personal attacks. You start building up the back links today, bring your community organizing and you build this up online and you become a, quote, "community leader.". I think this is the future, where you use the network to organize outside the state and that's a common theme here.]
30:10
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
As you start building these communities, these network unions, these social trees, as opposed to just a social graph, there's an organized hierarchy. As you start building these both locally and transnationally, the cloud starts taking physical shape. Those online groups that are delivering useful goods online to their people, for example; tutorials, for example; boosting people's launches or product announcements or whatever on social media. Helping promote their new initiative, helping defend them when they're attacked by other folks. Those groups online start meeting up offline and being a bit larger scale and what this does... 10 people getting together in a city with 10 different Uber's coming to a dinner is on a continuum with 10,000 people creating a new city and meeting there.]
31:05
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
We know this from Burning Man. You can see that 100,000 people can come together in a day. This also shows, by the way, that there's actually a third axis. People often think of this as NIMBY versus YIMBY, but it's really NIMBY versus YIMBY versus what I call HIMBY. The reason is the NIMBY says don't build anything and the YIMBY says build vertically, but there's also HIMBY, which says build horizontally. Build horizontally outside of the context of cities as cities used to be built, where you could just roll up an RV on a plot of land and that's your new home. And you have the MVP of what a building is, you just radically reduce the startup cost of starting a new city. The rules are basically just someone has a private plot of land and they just set the rules and that's going to be just one person who decides whether you can build something or not. Ideally if it's out in unincorporated land, whether it's Wyoming or someplace that is actually very easy to build.]
31:58
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
When you do that, like a Burning Man style thing, guess what? You can just horizontally spread. Sprawl may be actually good. Why is sprawl good? It radically reduces building costs. You don't need to do all this stuff to build steel and glass, and so on, vertically. You can just spread out horizontally and you can iterate. You can move an entire city block around here. Then you grow up over time, and this is how, of course, cities arose originally. They didn't have skyscrapers in the 1800's, when all these cities were settled. We're kind of going back to the future. What that does, is it means that people now start to organize in the cloud, organize these hierarchies, take physical shape.]
32:35
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Now, once that process happens more and more; start in the cloud, end on land, meet in the cloud, meet up on land. Once that becomes more and more routine... You need, actually, apps around this, because bringing 10,000 people to a location is harder than bringing 10. Now you can start doing things where those 10,000 can negotiate with states and they can say, "Hey, we've got 10,000 software engineers. We will all come to Miami, if you legalize this COVID vaccine.", for example. You say, "It's the sanctuary city versus the FDA.". Or you say, "Hey, make this a crypto capital.", which is actually already happening, which inaudible is doing.]
33:19
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
This concept of collective bargaining with governments, we know it works, because Amazon did it with HQ2 with just 25,000 people. New York and other places were putting in bids and York has 27 million people. Why would they care about 25,000? That's only 0.1% of the population. Well yeah, but it's probably one or two percent of the revenue that comes in and it's got knock on benefits, so maybe it's five or 10 percent, if it compounded there. A relatively small number of people can have enormous leverage if they collectively bargain. I think that's an important insight that a lot of, what I consider, ideological libertarians don't think about. They don't think about the collective and, conversely, a lot of progressives are blind to the idea that states are dysfunctional though, they're always into the collective. I think putting both those insights together is how you get binocular vision, rather than just having one color of the spectrum on its own.]
34:12
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
What we can start doing, once you start collective bargaining with governments, is you have states that start to compete for citizens or groups of citizens. You join various of, what I call, these network unions, which are social networks that organize like unions, which have clear leaders, but you can opt in. Basically an online influencer today is the kind of person that becomes a leader of a network union. You stand for something, you have some beliefs, you have an opinion on how society should be organized, you have followers. You hopefully have some management capability or a friend who can manage. You organize them into a hierarchy and you have just digital tasks to do each day. This is what I'm doing next, by the way, so you can sign up for the book and the app when it comes out. If you guys want to do your own, you can do that. There's basically three paths. You can; A, be a citizen of an existing state. That's fine. B, you join one of these new network unions and maybe found your own network, see if they'll come to you. Or, C, you actually found your own network state, and you become the CEO of a new network state. You found your own network union.]
35:20
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
In order to make all of this happen, in order to make this migration feasible, people need to be able to move. An important part of that is, they need to become financially independent. I'll get to that part in a second. The thing about the network state, the reason that it's coming about, where you have these cloud formations that take physical shape, that crowdfund cities, then states and so on, is that smartphone mediated mass migration is going to apply the same pressure to countries that software has applied to companies. If every company is a software company, the best companies are run by software savvy leaders. If they fail to adapt, their customers leave. Every country becomes a software country. The best countries are run by software savvy leaders, and they fail to adapt and their citizens leave. You think of exit as the most important.]
36:14
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
In fact, if you go look at the UN Declaration on Human Rights, in 1948, it talks about the right to immigrate as a fundamental right, as distinct from the right to immigrate. You want to allow someone to leave your house, unless they're in prison or something like that. But for them to immigrate, to come into your house, you might have something to say about that. Right to emigrate, the right to leave, is a fundamental right that's probably more important than the right to merely vote. The Soviet Union granted the right to vote. It had all the kinds of procedural nonsense about it, but it didn't grant the right to leave and the right to leave is something where that's actually more fundamental. That's why Jackson-Vanik was put into place, to shame the Soviet Union into allowing some of its people to leave, that 1976 Jackson-Vanik amendment.]
37:04
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
This is going to cause, by the way, a new form of interstate conflict. It's interstate competition. Normally, with geopolitics, the states that compete are the states that are geographically near each other. They are fighting over a mountain range or something like that. Now, just like Google news put every newspaper in competition with every other newspaper in 2002, the remote economy and the ability to be remote and work from anywhere is putting every city and every country into competition with every other city and country.]
37:39
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Folks like Mayor Suarez have figured this out. He's a software savvy leader. He'll be pulling folks in. It may turn out to be like Google news, where essentially most local newspapers just died. They were simply not set up to compete in this environment and the very, very best just pulled in all of the talent. It's possible that also happens, where you don't need 10% of the world to be like Mayor Suarez. You need 10, and those folks will just suck up tons and tons of talent from other places, and those other places won't be able to adapt in time. That's a possible outcome. We will see what happens. That's the fundamental driver. Emigration will form network states and also reform existing states. It is because of software that this is becoming possible, because these encrypted networks are forming, because these people can mass migrate together.]
38:29
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Okay, so the concept of crowd choice. Mobile is making us more mobile. If you think about every kind of technology, everything we're doing in technology is cutting the obligate ties to the land. For example, a social network. Even the question, "Where are you?". That is a very modern question. If you went and looked in old books; in the year 1700, why would someone say, "Where are you?"? Maybe they'd send a letter to somebody, but they know the address on the other side, so they know the guy is basically in this place. "Where are you?", is a very, very modern question. Because; "Where are you?", "I'm on the other side of the table from you, okay.". Usually you just ask that when someone's in person. One of the things that social networks has done, which people don't usually think about, is it's reduced the cost of moving, because your friends don't even know that you've moved, unless you've announced it.]
39:23
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
This is completely different from the world that many of us grew up in, in the eighties and the early nineties, where if you move, you would fall out of touch with people. Now, the only way you fall out of touch with people is if you just decide not to contact them. They're always available. Or you block them or something. You go down the list, and what many people don't really think about are things like, for example, we talked about remote work, but video games have enabled remote play. You don't normally think about that, but just the fact that you can do it online, that you can play these video games online. Well, that means that they're remote capable play, and they've got billions of dollars that have gone into them, so you don't need to socialize with a Zoom coffee, which is an artificial thing. You can all play Call of Duty or Fortnite together, which a lot of companies are starting to do.]
40:09
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
You can just go down the list of all these things and everything that is put on the internet has just removed the obligate tie to location. I've got dozens and dozens of examples of these from accessing any entertainment from anywhere to digitizing your bookshelf, to more futuristic things like drone delivery, which is actually operational by the way in China. Drones will come to your hotel room door with snacks and stuff. Especially in COVID, a lot of that stuff has been accelerated. All of these things, mobile is making us more mobile. Translation, for example, that's going to come online; being built into phones, where you can speak to people and they can hear in the foreign language. If mobiles make us more mobile, well, law is also a function of latitude and longitude. As you change your X and Y you change your governing law, because tax rates, income tax, property, tax, state gasoline tax, sales tax, all those things vary by geography. You put those together; if mobiles make us more mobile and laws a function of latitude and longitude, it's becoming cheaper to change the law under which you live.]
41:12
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
As you change your X and Y, you change your governing law and not just moving between states, but moving between countries. This also applies internationally. We haven't really thought about this. The remote economy is now pushing this up. You guys are taught about this, a lot of folks in this community, but most of the world has not thought about this. What we need to do is make the moral case for it, as something which is about individual autonomy, but also about groups having collective self-determination. We make the first case, but we don't really make the second one and the second one starts to become harder to argue with, because you have 1000 people who are in one voice, who are pushing back against some institution that would try to delegitimize their desire for self-determination. At first that might sound silly; "Oh, you're a people, are you? Well, you just grouped in a social network a few days ago or a few weeks ago.". But once it becomes a few years ago, and there's a consistent culture that's formed there, it becomes harder to dismiss.]
42:09
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
In many ways religion is just a cult that stood the test of time. That's probably true, and so, for folks to take you seriously, in terms of your aspiration for national self-determination, you're going to need to show some staying power. But over time, if you're consistent enough, if you're evangelistic enough, people will capitulate. That's the story of Bitcoin. That's the story of Ethereum. We're seeing, essentially, folks give in to this stronger, smarter, more convinced social network that actually has a sense of what it wants to build and what it wants to bring to the world. Don't underestimate that power of collective belief. This is one of the biggest things, I think, a lot of libertarians have a blind spot on.]
42:54
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Okay, so law is a function of latitude and longitude. As you change your X and Y, you change your governing law. This applies internationally, and this applies to collectives. It's becoming easier to coordinate crowds online. Billions of people are now familiar with social networks and messaging apps. This is this great post, which shows the nations of world; Facebook, China, India, WhatsApp, et cetera, et cetera. Setting up a million person social network is really not that hard nowadays. You all know folks who have done it. It's actually remarkable, the scale of that. We don't really perceive it, because we see a number on a screen. We don't see an auditorium with all of your million users in one place. We're going to see that with VR. VR will make these crowds tangible. They'll make people realize how many folks you can see at the same time in VR. That actually starts to build a national identity online, as another piece of the proto-network state.]
43:41
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
All the prerequisites are in place for Tiebout sorting. If you think about Tiebout's assumptions from the Tiebout model of 50 years ago, all the prerequisites are in place to gather a group online and cheaply move it to a new location, if you look at his prerequisites. That's what enables crowd choice, its basically collective bargaining with governments. Take a thousand remote workers at a 100K per year, aggregate the preferences and start trying to negotiate with mayors and governors.]
44:05
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Now, what you can do. Now, this is applicable to some of you, not to others. This is more geared for folks at the beginning of their careers, but anybody can become financially independent by maximizing your personal runway. In 2005, the playbook for becoming financial independent was; come to Silicon Valley, found a company, raise VC. Paul Graham wrote stuff on exactly this. But the 2021 playbook... Really, this was the 2017 playbook, when I first gave this particular slide, is; leave Silicon Valley, don't found a company and don't raise VC. Instead, just get a remote work, capable job, save money, and now your personal runway goes up.]
44:40
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The reason for this is that, it's way easier to reduce your burn rate by five X than to increase your net by five X. If you're willing to move to the middle of nowhere and cut your expenditure and just read Kindle and live on not super tasty, but super healthy food, like tomatoes and fresh fruit or whatever. Well, fresh fruit can be expensive, but you know what I mean. You're not spending a lot. You're basically reducing your consumption to the level of a grad student. Well, you go from making, let's say, 120 in San Francisco and spending 100K of it a year and having no savings to making 120, but only spending 30 or 40 a year in Bali, Indonesia, and having a better quality of life. As long as you deliver your stuff on time... And maybe you have a small community, a co-working group that that helps you give the social support that some people need. As long as you deliver your stuff on time, well now you're banking 70 or 80K a year, and your expenditure is only 40K a year. Every single year you work, you're building up one or two years of time off.]
45:43
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
All right, that's time off that you can use to start a company. You're angel investing in yourself. You're becoming financially independent and becoming financially independent... Here's just a basic calculation on this. If you reduce your expenditure, becoming financially independent, building a personal runway, the number of years you can go without working also makes you ideologically independent. There's tools like Nomad List and Teleport, that will let you do this. They're basically search engines for finding places to live. I co-founded Teleport. We sold that a few years ago. The thing though is that financial independence is also personal and ideological independence. If you remember the scene from Batman; "But we downvoted you on social media.". You can just respond in the Bane voice; "You think that gives you power over me?".]
46:33
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The reason is that if you have financial independence the passing crowd can't economically cancel you. You can just give the squared jawed, Chad yes. They'll lose it their focus in a day or two, because they're just looking for some target to attack for... It's like the Coliseum, except it's on Twitter and he'll go, "Sss.", hiss in dismay, but they'll move on to the next thing and nobody remembers anything that happened like a month or two ago. What was the scandal of August, 2020? Who remembers? What about March, 2019? Who knows? Someone got canceled then, but no one's passionate about it, because it's all about the surprise more than the event itself. If you have the economic cushion, which anybody can build by cutting consumption, if you have the economic cushion, you can ride out this.]
47:27
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Let's see. Now, in summary, technological factors are changing the balance of power. Mass migrations of individuals will discipline states. You should get financially independent, which you can do by cutting consumption and I've got much, much more on this and a better version of everything, but you can go to inaudible.com and sign up there. Okay, and I'll send it on. Thanks.crosstalk]
47:50
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Thank you. Wow. Okay. That was a lot to digest, but I think people have been keeping a tab. Thank you so, so much. I'm going to just kick off the questions and you tell us when you have to leave. It's totally fine-]
48:03
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Sure.]
48:03
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
... be on the hour, but I'll go...]
48:03
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Can you tell us when you have to leave?]
48:15
US
Unknown Speaker[
Yeah. I'm Allen Carp. I'm a real technology bits and bytes geek. I have a PhD in Astronomy, but I've been playing with computers for 40 years. My overall impression is I think you're underestimating the importance of physical. I have my online community, we've got my network state. And, the mayor of San Francisco says homeless people can camp out on my front yard. How does my network state give me any recourse?]
48:50
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Great question. And the answer is, we're post Forcoldium.Forcolds whole thing is you can just deconstruct anything. And, if enough people will say something, you can just change the software in people's heads. And, what I've realized is actually you can... Let me give a somewhat longer answer. The short answer is your network state, your people in the cloud, can collectively exert leverage on that local government to either shame them into providing police forces or eventually start a city of their own. So, I actually do believe the physical is very important. You're right that we can't yet reproduced very easily remotely. You could do mail order, IVF or something, but it's not that easy. So, you're absolutely right, the physical is important. I think the key concept for me is that polities are a social technology, which is installed in our brains. And, computer networks allow us to organize and say what society we want to build. And, then we can materialize that offline.]
49:51
US
Unknown Speaker[
That's fine. But, there will be other people putting pressure to allow homeless people to camp on my front yard.]
49:59
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Sure. And so, I think what happens is we want to do is move faster, escape things. You want to basically think about exit and mobility as the most important thing. And, what this means is reducing consumption, reducing possessions. The bigger the house you have, the more stuff you have, the less leverage you have. Mobility is leverage against the state.]
50:26
US
Unknown Speaker[
Okay. I don't buy it. But, I'm an old guy, maybe I'm just not seeing it.]
50:31
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Okay.]
50:33
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Thanks Allen. Next one up, we have Chris Webber. And, Chris perhaps two words about you as ainaudible can put you into perspective.]
50:41
US
Unknown Speaker[
Yeah. So, I work on decentralized social networks, and actually my present work is on moving the work that we've done on decentralized social networks, such as Mastodon,Flora, et cetera, to being able to move into virtual worlds type spaces. So, I do think a lot about the governance type structures that this might enable. And, especially experimental, cooperative, basically a low risk of experimentation virtual worlds, where you can try some of these things out and see if they actually work. One of the things about, as in terms of replacing physical governments that we have, the traditional state, that I think is an interesting challenge is that if we look at what's been done, as in terms of the particular roles that markets and democracy that traditionally placed side-by-side, where markets allow for organic and a distributed organization that doesn't take a top down approach. But, democracy, in terms of one person one vote, can help prevent against runaway effects of plutocracy, where it's possible for those who have accrued so much power to basically just stamp out everyone else who is below a certain threshold.]
52:07
US
Unknown Speaker[
So, if we've done a good job of importing the market type systems into our networks, but we haven't seen those types of importing of traditional democratic systems, is it possible to import them? Or are we going to find ourselves just incredibly vulnerable to civil attacks if we even try to bring them into the network, because of the way that it's very easy and cheap often to create online identities, in that you're not necessarily immersed in meet space in the way that we've used to be able to set up the one person, one vote type scenarios? So sorry if that was a bit rambly.]
52:51
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Yep. So, you actually helped me articulate something, which is democracy is vote with your ballot, and capitalism is vote with your wallet. But, one of the things I argue for is radically increasing our conceptual weight on a third force, which is vote with your feet.]
53:09
US
Unknown Speaker[
Okay.]
53:09
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And, crosstalk right. If you think of these three sliders, vote with ballot, vote with wallet, vote with feet. You have different kinds of governance systems that are set up to accommodate each of these. And, all three of these are actually factors in, for example, the American political context. If you have a graph for example, which is the cost to vote in this fashion and the effectiveness or efficacy of the vote in terms of probability of changing the law under which you live. So, let's say you vote with your ballot.]
53:38
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Then you have a very low cost. It's an hour or something to fill out the ballot, maybe go down to the polling station or whatever, and a very low probability of changing the law under which you live. It's one over end to be the tie-breaking vote and so on. It's more symbolic than anything else for most people. Then you can go up a little bit and you can say, "Okay, I'm going to make a political donation. I'm going to make $2,300," or whatever the limit is, or "I'm going to donate to a pack." And, you're now voting with your wallet. And, that is probably somewhat more effective than voting with your ballot. The exact number of votes per dollar, as gauche as that term sounds something that every candidate calculates and that The Washington Post occasionally publishes on how many votes do you buy per dollar with this donation.]
54:21
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And, it's probably more than one. So, you're buying 10, or a hundred, or whatever with your campaign ad purchase, or indirect campaign ad purchase. So, that's a slightly larger chance of changing the law under which you live, but it's still fractions of a percent, fractions of fractions really. And then, you have the third, which is vote with your feet. And, now that's the most expensive, that may cost you not a few thousand dollars, but $10,000 or more to migrate and pack all your stuff, and so on and so forth. But, it's by far the most efficacious in changing the law under which you live. Which to is say it's like 100% chance that you change the law, because you're going from California to Texas, or from Texas to Singapore, or New York to Miami, or from Oklahoma to Switzerland.]
55:08
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
You know what the law is on their side, you're actually purchasing the law with your move. And, there's two things that technology can do here. The first is we can reduce the cost, we can reduce the barrier to exit. And, we're already doing that. If you saw my 40 things, which I'll make all this nice by the way. And, I've got tons, more content. Alison has seen much more content. This actually isn't even my best talk. I've got a lot more. So, at least I think I've got better stuff, you'll have to be the judge. Technology could do at least two really important things. First, it can reduce the cost of exit, because nothing that says it has to be tens of thousands of dollars. You can have really cheap moving services.]
55:46
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
You can have digitization of your books. You could have, for example, clothes that are in a new place, you can really push digital nomadism harder than we have. And, I think COVID is going to do that. And, the second way you can do it is with, when you start talking about collective bargaining with governments, you might be able to get into the golden upper left corner, where there's a very low cost to vote in a very high probability of changing the law under which you live. That is to say, if you can get 10,000, 50,000 people in San Francisco to credibly commit they're all going to crowd migrate to Miami unless the local government changes something. San Francisco government is completely not responsive, so it probably won't work there. But, the Austin mayor might be actually concerned that a bunch of his citizens were going to move.]
56:36
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Now you might say, "Why would the mayor care, because they'll still be in power. Even if these citizens move? Who cares?" The thing is that eventually they'll realize that they'd be king of nothing. If your best citizens, if your artists, and your computer scientists and so on all just find the city unlivable and leave, that's a huge black eye for you, that is a continuous vote of no confidence. Which can be done at any time, as opposed to rather than doing a recall and this whole 20th century model of a waterfall where it's this process and so on. You just snap vote of no confidence, boom, get a bunch of people online, give a list of demands. And, if they're not met move. And, that's actually operating at the speed of the network. And so, it's by including that third force of physical immigration. I think this also addresses Allen Carps point, hopefully, which is the physicality is critically important, but what you can do is digitize the credible threat of moving. And, that also gets you leveraged, and that reduces the cost of actually changing the political outcome. So, let me pause there and get more thoughts.]
57:47
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Okay. Thank you. And next one up, we have Josh inaudible.]
57:47
US
Unknown Speaker[
Hi, I'm Josh. PhD student at Oxford and CS, and also run something calledThe Meta Governance Project. I have two small questions or two points. One first is: There was a talk by a constitutional lawyer namedElia Soman. That was after a couple of years and he wrote a book, that I'll link to in the chat, called Democracy and Political Ignorance. And, actually in that book, he make a very similar argument to what you're making here. Which is that why will smaller government... Or how do I say? What's the issue with nation states? He claims political ignorance. And, the solution to that is essentially voting with your feet. So, he's making a connection between this idea of the fact that a lot of people vote in these national elections, but they don't really know that much. They're much more suited to making decisions where they're voting with their feet, because they're more incentivized to do certain kinds of research.]
58:53
US
Unknown Speaker[
That's an argument for smaller government in certain ways, or he makes that connection. But, I'm curious, one: Are people really incentivized to inform themselves in these online settings. In my research and experience is there are so many decisions in these online communities. People don't really participate in the governance features of the existing networks like Bitcoin, Ethereum. We're only a very small subset of them. So, in what sense are we really pioneering new things? Are people going to actually participate? The second question that-]
59:32
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Let me just answer that one quick before I forget. So, basically what you're saying is: Would people be informed consumers of these networks states?]
59:42
US
Unknown Speaker[
Yes.]
59:43
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Okay. And, my answer to that is, as long as you have a lot of choices, and some of these will be very visible. In the sense of there'll be skyscrapers... Sorry. There'll be skyscrapers coming out of the Midwest, in a place that was nothing and you build it like burning... Because, [Burning Man 00:01:00:05] shows that were basically 10,000 X or more, less effective than we could be. And, it says that you can build a 100,000 person city in a day, and San Francisco's building one unit of housing a day or something like that. So, the thing is that the proof is in the pudding, and our audio visual system is actually pretty good at determining tangible outcomes.]
1:00:26
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So, that's what I would say. Now with that said is if somebody doesn't trust their own judgment, you're effectively doing the liquid inaudible where you're asking a smart friends opinion and saying, "Hey. Is this a good one to go to? Is this a good one to go to?" But, I think so long as there's choice of leaders, I'm not saying everyone needs to make their own choice on everything, but I want them to choose to not have a choice. You're choosing the... What's it called? The Prefixa Menu as opposed to Allocart. Theomakaze menu, where the chef choose everything. You choose not to choose. That's great. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. But, the macro, you must retain the consent to essentially give power of attorney to somebody else. Where's your second question?]
1:01:12
US
Unknown Speaker[
Second one is.. I should own up to the comments in the chat. So it's, I'm referencing someone like [Barlow's 01:01:20] original declaration and a follow up piece asking okay, you declared the internet as an independent states 20 years ago, why hasn't it actually happened?]
1:01:33
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
It's happening. I think, crosstalk.]
1:01:35
US
Unknown Speaker[
So, what's changed since the original 96 version of this? What makes you thing it's... Sorry. Go ahead.]
1:01:44
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
inaudible.]
1:01:45
US
Unknown Speaker[
No. Just what makes you think it's going to happen this time. This idea of a cyber libertarian state on the internet.]
1:01:53
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
First is a lot of the things... What's the right way to put this? I actually think a lot of Barlow's stuff was actually very good and very prescient. I think in so far is there be any critique of it, I'd say there's a [Hagalleon Dialectic00:01:02:11] . Thesis into the synthesis. So thesis, you have the state, and to the sys you have the network. Synthesis is the network shape. And, you have right states that take on properties of networks, and networks to take on properties of states. So, simply him being bold enough to put that out there as the total opposite of this, is often in that fusion that you can find some interesting where you take the good pieces of each. For example, I shouldn't say a prosaic example, but Coinbase, why did it do so well?]
1:02:43
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
It took Bitcoin, the trustless digital currency, and it said, "We're going to be the most trustworthy name in digital currency" Where it took the thesis of, "Hey, you're going to trust your bank." And, then to the sys of digital currency where you don't need to trust anyone and say, "Okay. We're going to be the bank of digital currency, the trustworthy entity in this space." And, I think folks who think very ideologically, it's actually useful to identify polls. But, folks who think pragmatically can make blends and not just take the pure primary colors of red, green, and blue, but actually make paintings out of them. This is an obvious point. Chinese culture consist of yin and yang and what have you. This is something many cultures have. But, basically the concept of a balance and a combination of things is one of the biggest things that American culture has recently lost.]
1:03:30
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The US used to be something where folks would "Talk Across the Aisle." There was a recognition that there was something to offer from different schools of thought that you'd blend together. But, where you do see this, by the way, is a CEO. As CEO, you realize that many libertarian founders into rebuilding the state. You come in as CEO and you have this strong will, this is founder is like, "Screw the bureaucracy. I hated being told what to do, I'm going to do it my way," et cetera. And, if you're successful, many people fail, of course, but if you're successful and you start building up a revenue model, and it starts working, and you start getting customers and you start getting employees. As you go from one person to 10 people, to 100 people, the hundred and first person who joins once more structure. They don't want to figure out everything for themselves.]
1:04:15
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The whole reason they're not founding a company is they wanted to come into something with more structure. And so, they want rules, they want to bureaucracy. And, what you find this, that you switch over from burn rate to bus number, as the most important figure you're monitoring. You start off with the burn rate where every single person has to be incredibly unique and pulling their own weight, because you're trying to minimize burn rates. So, they have to be super unique killers. And then, you get to a multicellular organism where you flip over and you need to actually minimize, or rather maximize a bus number. The number of people who can get hit by a bus so the company doesn't die. And now, every person cannot be unique. If they're really unique and indispensable, then if they go away, your company dies. And so, as CEO, you actually need to make yourself and all of them dispensable.]
1:04:55
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And, this is what causes the alienation of people from their jobs within these larger companies. And, then eventually the cycle of life begins and a founder leaves and starts something new. And so, in that context, you have the progressive, the conservative, the libertarian, various schools of thought all inter-playing. And, I think, that folks who think too ideologically don't mix those together. And so, the John Perry Barlow thing is a very important component. But, it's like, "Okay. It's electromagnetism. We also have gravitation, and we have other forces and we put them all together."]
1:05:29
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Thank you very much. Okay. Lovely. David, you're next]
1:05:37
US
Unknown Speaker[
I've unmuted myself. I was thinking about the physical element that somebody else raised. About 47 years ago, I spent some time interacting with federal libertarians in the Los Angeles area. And, it eventually occurred to me that I'd been visiting a village of about a hundred people spread over an area perhaps 50 miles across, that socially speaking, that set of people was a village. This was pre-internet, but nonetheless, there were other communication modules. And, I'm wondering if that might be the best solution to the problem of physical interaction. And, I was thinking, especially of the context of universities or colleges. That the actual education is something that you can get pretty easily in other ways. And, I think, a large part of what a college is providing is a whole bunch of young adults interested in interacting with each other, flirting with each other, maybe finding a mate, maybe getting into arguments, maybe setting up a future partnership, stuff like that. And, I'm wondering if you could construct that by having a network college as it were, where everybody was living within 20 miles of each other in multiple different legal jurisdictions. And, using the network plus the fact that at 20 miles, it's easy enough to have a party on Saturday night. And, more generally, I think, hybridizing as it were physical interaction with virtual interaction may be a fairly powerful tool.]
1:07:11
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Yeah. I think so. I think also COVID has just killed universities, and they're not going to be the same after this. And so, I think we're, we have a real shot at unbundling a lot of those features that you mentioned that are all there, and then maybe rebundling them into something. I think there's several different experiments on this. This is not exactly college, but I funded something called kibow.com. K-I-B-B-O.com. Which basically gives people a van that they can live out of, and they just have base stations around the US, and you drive back and forth, and there's base stations that you can be at. And, you basically are going back to a pneumatic, peripatetic life and you can work from anywhere. For the person who wants to see the Rockies Today and be in Vegas tomorrow, maybe see some friends in Austin the next day, and so on and so forth.]
1:08:06
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
That's almost like a gap year touring Europe kind of thing. Not exactly university, but it's similar. And, you can certainly meet lots of people. Your Tinder is now geo unlocked. A different phase of life for me. But, for some of the young folks might be interesting. So, yeah. So, David, I do think that structures like that, I'm not sure if that specific one will work. Or rather, I'm not sure if that's specific one will be the only one that'll work, but I think we can try that, as well as others.]
1:08:34
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
We have David Britton next.]
1:08:37
US
Unknown Speaker[
It's a compliment that I have been typing away and have 12 points here. And, I'll just stick them in the chat, and just see how I can go before Alison proves that that actual palpable, virtual reality exists by reaching out and smacking me. There's an awful lot that's wonderful here, like the right to leave that's absolutely important, and cutting consumption can save us. And yes, banks are refusing to look at their fundamental business. But, simply liberating citizens to leave and reassociate is important for the reasons you described. But, enemies of the western enlightenment have been exploiting exactly this thing. And, this is what happens to every revolution in what we can know, what we can see, and what we can pay attention to. Going back to the printing press glass lenses, always the worst uses come first.]
1:09:34
US
Unknown Speaker[
And, it's happening to us now. And, enemies have encouraged incantatory Nuremberg rallies, where people in fast numbers leave. They leave and self-organize exactly as we were told they should do in Snow Crash, and all of theBruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow. And, evenI and Earth in Existence I talk about self-organizing networks. And, I'm going to link you to [David Ronfelt's 01:10:01] books about this. He's done a lot of theoretical work on this. But, the fact is that most of these incantatory Nuremberg rallies have clustered and clades, that chant incantations more primitive in fact free than almost any cult of the past, and are just as immune to reputation. And, your model by itself, recreates feudal fiefdoms of devotion to the best hypnotizers. That is what's going to happen, because that's exactly what we are seeing happen. So crosstalk and the world that we have-]
1:10:34
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
crosstalk David.]
1:10:36
US
Unknown Speaker[
... Go ahead.]
1:10:38
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So, I'd say three or four things. One is: Arguably, we've been under the best hypnotizers for a long time. In the sense of mass media, or what have you. And so, there's always storytelling is how any society comes together. You can frame it negatively, or frame it positively. Let me give something to your point though. And, let me see if I can relate it to one of my fundamental laws of physics. Which is the intranet increases variance. So, there's more upside and more downside in everything. And, that's a phenomenological observation. I think the underpinning of that is that the intranet disintermediates. So, it removes mediators, so it removes moderators, so it removes moderation, because every node can connect to each other P2P. So, the centralizing systems that were enforcing mediation, moderation, mediocrity, each of which are terms that have a different connotation and tone to them. Some like, "Oh, moderation is good, but mediocrity is bad." Each of those things, these centralized entities, now all the nodes can just connect to each other outside of them. And so, you get, as you said, some clusters that are terrible, and some clusters that are Ethereum, or The Polymath Project, orY Combinator, or things like that. And so, it is like-]
1:12:03
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
... or things like that. Right. And so it is like, I don't know if you've done any chemistry, but like fractioning, or you centrifuge something. And you centrifuge it and you get different layers out, you have the supernatant and so on. And so that's what's happening where you're right, there is more downside. I'm not saying you're going to get ISIS. That's one of these kinds of things, you talk about crazy people chanting slogans. But you also get YC and Ethereum. And I think, and here's my belief, I believe that on balance, the upside is so up that we can use it to fund things that buffer and take care of the downside.]
1:12:38
US
Unknown Speaker[
And that's what optimists have always thought about every one of these revolutions and they always proved right. crosstalk pessimists go right.]
1:12:48
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Right. Well, so then I think we're basically aligned then. I mean the thing is also that I think to bet against technology is to be on the wrong side of history, to kind of remix a famous saying. Like David Hilbert, we must, we will. We're going to drive the future. And yes, the printing press led to the 30 years war. And what we're in the middle of now, I think will be seen as the social war, where it is essentially a war of networks versus each other, global networks. And that's just starting by the way. Like the Democrat-Republican or whatever in the US is like ... That's like the 1619 or whatever of the Protestant versus Catholic thing.]
1:13:32
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
There's all of these transnational networks that are going to be slugging it out from crypto to social networks and so on. And they're all expanding and contracting like this, and eventually they're going to reform into physical polities that have a degree of stability, and that block all communication from non partners, just like you'd block transactions from non-partners in that, except from partners, and then that all this shifts over time. So I think that's what's going to happen.]
1:13:58
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
What we should do is steer it in a good direction. That's like the thrust of history, and maybe we can make marginal changes on the sides.]
1:14:10
US
Unknown Speaker[
I'm going to drop a whole lot of slug of text and some of these points into the chat. You can find them if you want, or email me and I'll send it to you more directly.]
1:14:18
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Sure! No, I appreciate the feedback. It is great.]
1:14:20
US
Unknown Speaker[
It's really inspiring. Very, very interesting.]
1:14:23
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Thank you.]
1:14:24
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Two more folks; is that okay or ... ?]
1:14:26
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Sure, sure, sure. Yeah.]
1:14:27
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Yeah? Okay good. Then, okay, next we have Jazear and then Daniil.]
1:14:33
US
Unknown Speaker[
Hey, Balaji. I'm Jazear, a founder of a token called Thorchain and a new one-]
1:14:39
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Awesome.]
1:14:41
US
Unknown Speaker[
Sorry?]
1:14:42
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Go ahead. I said, awesome. Go ahead.]
1:14:43
US
Unknown Speaker[
And then a new one called Sifchain, which is coming out soon. And I have a question for you around something I've been thinking a lot about in relation to getting these actual communities to really exist in real life, in a way that like, you do want to have sex with, or have deep conversations with or whatever, all these people, as opposed to just, we all seem to have similar interests and so on.]
1:15:11
US
Unknown Speaker[
To me, what it makes sense to do, something I've been fixating on is this concept of knowing what everyone in my tribe actually needs, getting them to make them better off, and then as a part of that, if we need to move or we need to do something in relation to our network state or a nation state or whatever, we do that. And I'm wondering what you think about ideas like having a much deeper understanding of what the 150 people in your tribe need and then providing that for them, or vice-versa as a way to really create stronger groups.]
1:15:47
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Yeah. So something I'm thinking, I've got to, actually, one of the chapters in this book is, we're moving from, I think, the social graph to the social tree and the network union. So a social graph is just everybody organized, higgledy-piggledy. You're friending this person or whatever. You friended this person from 17 years ago or whatever. And then you move from that into a structure where there is a community leader and there's accountability, and there's somebody who's a decision maker or that people appoint by basically opting into this network. So you have a social community leader. They have folks folding into them who have folks folding into them, and they deliver goods to everybody who's in this hierarchy, just like a company does, but outside of a company context. For example, with these power outages that are happening in Austin, they would organize food, they'd organize shelter, they'd organized blankets, that type of stuff.]
1:16:38
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
As the state fails, you have these community organizations that arise. And even when the state isn't failing, they're helping you learn things, earn with your career, with social defense online, and so on. And I think then what you do is those things start meeting up and they start building physical connection. People start going and saying, " Oh, I want to live near that community. Maybe I already do. Or maybe there's 30 people who are in a group house or a few group houses near each other, and now we'll kind of move to there." And you might have a few clusters, by the way, around the world. They may not all be in one place. There may be different clusters of this sort of social tree around the world.]
1:17:17
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And when you start to get there, one of the things that I've talked about with some of the lectures Alison has seen is I think that people really underestimate how much the internet has increased the viability of enclaves. An enclave is like a piece of territory that is surrounded; it's landlocked. And the reason that an enclave historically was bad is, without access to the sea, the sea was the original peer to peer network, is still the original peer to peer network because once you've got access to the sea, Portugal can ship stuff to Brazil or to Macau, or whatever, and no other nation can get in the way. And once you have these enclaves, today if you're an enclave state, if you go and crowdfund territory here and here and here, you can network them together and you actually have a more functional, physical piece of land.]
1:18:06
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And one of the things that I think can happen over time and, Alison has seen some of these lectures, is if you look at the list of UN countries, about 30% of them have a population less than 1 million, and about 60% have a population less than 10 million. Many of us have built social networks that are larger than that. And a next step would be to have a dashboard, which is showing not just the size of this social tree that you've built. Not just all the things they've done, but also the total amount of land that they own and all these enclaves around the world. And you start comparing that to UN countries and you start rising up the ranking, just like there's this website called fiatmarketcap.com, which is showing how Bitcoin is rising versus other Fiat currencies. So you'd actually show how your decentralized country has more land and people and GDP and so on than actual UN recognized countries and eventually get recognized.]
1:19:01
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
That's a totally crazy thing to say right now, but that's actually how you do it. That's how you take the internet and you use it to pull a bunch of pieces together. This is just a piece of maybe a much more practical and thought-through strategy. But one of the concepts here is we start actually funding, not simply company founders, but community founders. A community founder is somebody who is essentially the manager of a piece of real estate who governs, who can come in, who adjudicates disputes, who does the culture formation and so on and so forth. And all those community founders fold into the CEO of the network state. And basically those are all pieces.]
1:19:43
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
You might have a ranch here. You might have an apartment building here. You might have a cul-de-sac here and so on and so forth. And those are all pieces. And then members of this network state can migrate back and forth. And over time it's got the footprint of the Google offices worldwide, where there's a hundred offices of Google worldwide. And you can go in with your card key into any office, and you're in a piece of Google in the same way that you've got embassies worldwide. You can go into any embassy as a citizen of that country and they'll welcome you. You've got these pieces of your digital state worldwide.]
1:20:17
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
One of the things this does, by the way, is it makes you nuke proof. It's kind of hard to nuke all of these territories at the same time. And it means that actually you push it from nuclear weapons being the big thing to cyber attacks being the big thing. It also means that you have some robustness to 20th century states because if a local enclave gets attacked by its surrounding state, well, the citizens can move to other states, other pieces of your network state, and other enclaves, and all of the members around the world can kind of gang up and return fire if that state is actually attacking your enclave illegitimately. There's more to it, but this is how you start to actually have the internet bleed into the physical world and start taking territory.]
1:21:01
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Thank you. Okay, and one final one for you. We have Daniil and David here.]
1:21:07
US
Unknown Speaker[
David is not here. He is here, but behind the door, so just one me today. Hi, I'm Daniil Lieberman, one of the many Lieberman brothers and sisters who do ... Five of us do businesses together since 2005. Currently we are Directors of Product on Snapchat, but our transition's out, all four of us at the same time. So my question is, I'm like, I only just asked some questions in the chat, but I think that maybe a more interesting question would be: imagining that we already are having a meta-government, like someone is forming a meta-government, and there is this part of the government right now, which is we believe important, is taking a share of the income of its citizens as a group funding, for good of the group, or maybe in all of the world, but that's based on the values of the meta-government, which people joined.]
1:22:23
US
Unknown Speaker[
And therefore, if we have this right now, and let's say, we are just forming this on top of the existing governments, like let's say you pay whatever taxes and you follow whatever rules of the countries you live physically right now, just because you have to obey the law, but at the same time, you can add on top a meta-government, which let's say going to charge you additional 5% of your income. What would you want this government? Where will you be ready to pay this 5% of your additional taxes? What services this government should provide to you?]
1:23:08
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
It's a great question. By the way, a good analogy to that is tithing, for like a church or something, right?]
1:23:14
US
Unknown Speaker[
Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Mormons basically charging this 10% and they have all the structure of additional education guarantees, this guarantee, this guarantee, and that guarantee. So basically imagining that we are having a meta-government right now, which we are all ready to subscribe based on the values which this meta-government going to provide us and the service which meta-government's going to provide us, what going to be those services for which you personally will be ready to be 5% of your-]
1:23:43
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
That's a great question. So I'm not sure, 5% or whatever the pricing is the right number, but let's just say it lets some surcharge it. So here's a few things I think a lot about. One is a positive sum community of peers that actually are helping you in many different ways. For example, you're working out with them. They're helping you professionally in terms of job introductions and so on, collaborations like that. You're learning from them. You may do open source projects with them. You may read books. You may hang out like this. Maybe it's childcare. You organize childcare so that you have round-robin childcare so that everybody gets some time off, and so on. There's collective insurance pools for things like health insurance and other kinds of things, or even credit unions, because with crypto, you can actually form a credit union with any large enough group of people, if they opt into it.]
1:24:42
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And there's social self-defense. Basically, if one of them is canceled online, then the community can both rise up and defend that person, as well as potentially crowdfund or bring that person into the fold because they're being attacked by somebody outside. Once we start actually thinking about external attacks, being attacks of other tribes, then that's actually a pretty important thing for people. And maybe they can reboot under a pseudonym or something like that.]
1:25:12
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And then, crowdfunding land. Like actually getting together and then crowdfunding land. And what I flip it as, by the way, is I think there's the 5% cost, but I think you might also get significant benefit. Because one of the things that's been amazing to me about crypto is just the scale of the money involved that's now been there for 10 years, and it just keeps going up. The scale of the money involved when you can actually align collective belief is astonishing. It's just actually crazy. And so just getting a thousand people to agree on something could unlock way more money.]
1:25:51
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
The thing about that is, money is not at all everything, but it is something that's tangible and quantifiable. And in our secular world, it's now a signal of the strength of belief. Every religion will be publicly traded, in the sense of you'll have Christian Hodlers and Christianity is basically, do you believe while you're still Hodling? I'm kind of being tongue in cheek, but not exactly.]
1:26:17
US
Unknown Speaker[
No, no.]
1:26:17
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Go ahead.]
1:26:17
US
Unknown Speaker[
We personally believe that every human being is going to be publicly tradable and therefore publicly tradable who will be able to collect our future value as companies do today, like for the next 30 years, let's say. And through these, basically we can kind of start forming the similar throughs and meta-governments to similar mechanisms as a state that, but the that is basically on the future income of the participant of this meta-government. And therefore we'll be able to collect a much larger capital to finance whatever infrastructural or scientific, R&D educational expenses we collectively need.]
1:27:05
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
That's right. The one thing I will say though, is I think that you want to start out ... I mean, maybe I think there'll be 50 different business models for this, and you need a business model because you got to eat, you got to have it propagate, but I actually do think that once you start thinking about crypto and the things that come out of crypto and things that come out of encrypted networks as social technologies for kind of aligning human beings and having them do things between themselves that they couldn't do at smaller scale, that unlocks so much money, so much wealth that it's something where it's not that they have to pay 5%, but they actually gain by joining the network. I actually think it's going to be that much larger. So we'll see. But that's my strong hypothesis.]
1:27:51
US
Unknown Speaker[
Thank you.]
1:27:51
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Balaji I just wrote you in the chat. I don't know if it's okay. I will give my final comments to Brewester and I will just shut up if that's okay. Yeah? Do you mind?]
1:28:01
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Sure, sure. Yeah, yeah, sure. Absolutely. Is this Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive?]
1:28:06
US
Unknown Speaker[
Yes. Hi.]
1:28:07
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Thank you for doing it.]
1:28:08
US
Unknown Speaker[
Oh, thanks. Welcome. Balaji, okay. Completely mind blowing. Fabulous. Every sentence counted, really impressive.]
1:28:17
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Thank you.]
1:28:18
US
Unknown Speaker[
And hello from Vancouver! You've woven together some of my favorite things: embassy network, crypto, the internet, Burning Man, decentralized web; you're actually writing a book, which I kind of love, and intentional living communities. It's just like you've sort of made the things that have been defining to me sort of make all sense together. Way to go, and added to it in meaningful ways. Thank you.]
1:28:50
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
Thank you. Well, I appreciate that. I think that's exactly what I've tried to do is a synthesis of a lot of different strands and technology, because we actually have a culture. We have, I would almost call it an implicit religion, with Satoshi Nakamoto as Jesus Christ and artificial intelligence as God and life extension as reversing age or living forever rather as reversing aging, eternal life, heaven as space exploration, and so on and so forth. And we have a culture and we have a set of things that we believe in that haven't actually been explicitly articulated, and people, it's almost like a set of training examples that have been given by to an AI and you kind of mimic them and it's not you, but one, one does mimic them.]
1:29:44
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And what I've tried to do is kind of explicate them together because I think it's a positive culture, which gets beyond a lot of the infighting around the world and actually refocuses technology on what it is, which is not the technology industry, but it is miracles. You know? It is curing the deaf with cochlear implants and restoring sight with bionic eyes. It is reversing aging with life extension. It is reincarnation with, if you saw my tweet on this, where basically you can do eukaryotic chromosome synthesis, so you can go and sequence people. And if they have high karma in their community, when they die, chromosome synthesis is getting better and better. We've made it work for bacteria. We can do it for smaller eukaryotes. You could resynthesize Brewster 2.0 in the future. I think that's actually much more practical than cryonics because you'd have the DNA sequence and you'd be able to basically clone yourself in the future. And then maybe you replay your experiences to that person. And they've got actually, "All right, do this, do this, and don't do this," just like advice from the older you to the younger you.]
1:30:50
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
So pulling all those things together, that's a positive culture that I think the world needs. And I think it's something where you can do forks of that. You can have, for example, Rod Dreher writes about the Benedict Option. You could have like the Christian version of a network state. You could have the vegan version of a network state. You could have the CrossFit version of a network state. I think the very first network state is going to be the true technology version, which ties in all of these threads that you've talked about, plus especially trans-humanism. And everybody in the last decade who talked about all the things we're doing, we're just doing apps and so on. Well, you ain't seen nothing yet.]
1:31:32
Balaji SrinivasanBalaji Srinivasan[
And I think that the key thing for that to innovate in the physical world is using everything we've done in the cloud to group a bunch of people together who have common, strong belief, and then push hard enough to change the laws in the physical world. Starting with crowdfunding territory, with lobbying, with media, with very political stuff we need to do. We need to realize that actually you can only get so far with individuals and by a collective of folks, even outside of corporate structures, we can make a lot of things happen. So that's how I think about a lot of this.]
1:32:13
Allison DuettmannAllison Duettmann[
Did this conversation pique your interest? Maybe it even inspired a bit of existential hope about the future in you. Search for Foresight Institute on YouTube or Twitter to stay up-to-date, or visit foresight.org to learn more, subscribe to our newsletter, and join our efforts. We are entirely funded by your donations. So please support us if you like what we do. Thank you so much for listening.]

POWERED BY