Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

According to Protocol, Balaji Srinivasan's The Network State is "a blueprint that, right or wrong, will inform how powerful tech leaders interact with governments for years to come." It suggests that individuals can organize themselves into a single (blockchain-based) network independent of traditonal nation-states. The appeal here is to the employment of blockchain mechanisms to promote and enforce the objectives of the state, and the suggestion is that they will become large enough, and organized enough, to negotiate for their own autonomy. I don't think this is how networks actually work, nor how they should work. To me, it reads like a new sort of authoritarianism, one that does not recognize the inherent interdependence among all states, and suggests instead that a particular population (of mostly wealthy white men) can opt out of governance by the rest of us, and (presumably) exert its power over us. Not interested.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Sept 19, 2022 3:59 p.m.