Hey gang, this forum seems like a good initiative, and I’d like to add some concerns that I think are being glossed over way too often when talking about socio-political systems at large, particularly in this community, and hopefully add a bit of a different perspective on things.
I’ve seen Radical Markets being discussed in the open. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of it and have found it to be a grind. Not because the book is boring (it’s not), but mostly because I find it rather naive, either due to having seemingly obvious attack vectors, or simply due to assumptions that seem naive to me (we are not, after all, Homo Economicus).
I was born in '85, 4 years before the fall of the Berlin wall, and before Poland, after 40 years, managed to free itself from Soviet oppression due to civil unrest that lead to first truly legitimate elections and the decline of Communism. I grew up in parallel with modern Polish democracy emerging from the broken system that preceded it, and it was the modern liberal democracy and economy that uprooted the country from poverty to what is now a vibrant country, NATO and EU member. We’ve had our radical solutions before, the generation of my parents had their revolution, the fact that we don’t have to have one today makes me more than happy.
I know this might be hard to swallow in this age of Trump, but things are actually, still, pretty good. It’s also way more reasonable to incrementally fix issues with systems we have, than to start new, radical ones from scratch that might have problems we’ve not even considered. After all, if there is any group of people that should intuitively understand that meddling with complex systems is more likely to break them than fix them, it should be engineers.
I’d recommend anyone to read or listen to Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, the books is relatively recent (post Trump elections), which makes a good stance for maintaining the Enlightenment traditions that brought us where we are today. We should be very careful not to throw the baby away with the bath water. If there is any group of people that should intuitively understand that changing things in complex systems is more likely to break them than fix them, it is be engineers.
This tech we are all building here does have its place. The obvious use case I can think of is to facilitate blockchain to make national elections transparent and accountable. Before we even go anywhere with radical ideas, like quadratic voting, just having a straight forward popular vote that people can understand (US election system really is an outlier here) and trust.
I’m still around at DevCon for the couple next days, so hit me up if you want to talk about this in person.