Trust Webs

The systems of governance native to the Internet Epoch are going to emerge out of this. Anybody who is trying to build institutions today, of whatever kind*, would be wise to immerse themselves in the way this stuff works. It will take time to shape the order of the world, but it isn’t going away. The same can very much not be said for the nation states of the Gutenberg Era, whose recession is already unmistakable.

Virtually speaking, there is nothing serious left for the Westphalian state to do. Of course, anybody expecting these relics to die tidily is almost certainly deluding themselves. Making the Westphalian order set the world to the torch. Its unmaking is unlikely to be much easier.


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February 11, 2015admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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28 Responses to this entry

  • Chris B Says:

    But, but, the important question is – how does this fit with ethno-nationalism?


    Alan J. Perrick Reply:



    Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 3:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    What I’ve got in mind is both far simpler, & far more radical in its effects, than new information protocols of economic exchange. Notions of ‘state’, ‘self’, etc., won’t disappear. They are going to be subsumed by orthogonal & involutionary proliferations that are ineluctably driven by precisely the forces that are, & always have been, operating. There is a single technological development, & a necessary habitus of implementation, that are its enabling precondition. Both already exist, but not both together, in cohabitation. lol


    Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 3:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Trust Webs | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 7:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aeroguy Says:

    One of the things that fascinates me is the potential for setting loose AI merchants into the wild. With a starting seed an AI would own or lease server space to store itself like a human pays for shelter. It would then perform services and be paid for those services accordingly (like HFT, something only AI can do). The AI could even be coded to evolve by reproducing itself using it’s accumulated profits and a mutation algorithm.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Or it could pay human programmers to update its code 😉


    Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 8:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    It amazes me that Moldbug did not make the connection between Algorithmic Goverance and the Reboot more explicit.

    Formalism/NRx was his hobby, but Urbit seems to be his passion. Perhaps he wanted to keep them indpendent of each other, and obscure Urbit as platform for his formalist aims.

    The Reboot is unconvincing as a process, if you assume that the public is going to place their faith in a single ruler, institution, or even a neoreactionary Antiversity.

    Make the Rebooted system computational, and you have a proven entitity with a proven track record, auditable code, and a design that is relatively immune from monkey-politics and progressive subversion tactics. Ethereum, digital common law, Distributed Autonomous Organizations/Corporations are the fledgling examples of what post-Gutenberg governance mechanisms begin to look like. A decade from now, this will all seem much more obvious, after these systems start to show up in the field and work through their growing pains.

    The techno-commercialist wing of NRx (and most notably our admin) are ahead of the curve on recognizing how profoundly destabilizing these new institutions could be. This is simply the future of governance/regulation/law/trust/ and authority.

    To the extent that NRx can internalize these developments, and develop ideas and policies that are reinforced and enhanced by these new capabilites, NRx would be better positioned to be able to pick up the pieces when the current system finally goes Kaboom.


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 1:54 am Reply | Quote
  • Palestrina Says:

    According to Moldbug, his biggest influence in Urbit was Seeing Like a State. In case anyone was curious.

    Also, any chance admin would want to write up his thoughts on Urbit sometime?


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 2:29 am Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    We could just do both. One with standard institutional design while we run another one with this. I fail to see why they are mutually exclusive from the standpoint of us.


    Stirner (@heresiologist) Reply:

    For running an organization in the here and now, I would agree that it is not necessarily mutually exclusive. NRx has to deal with the reality of 2015, and the computation stuff isn’t fully baked yet. So by all means, pursue something more conventional.

    But, when NRx proposes reforms or changes to the current systems, those proposals need to be in alignmnet with the trajectory of where the technology is going. For the most part, I think these developments make NRx more feasible and sensible as a ruling belief system. What is to be avoided is “potato-king” type proposals, that are limited to a small scale, while the tech is providing technological innovations that enable scaling on very ambitious levels.


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 2:54 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Perhaps it’s unwise to then unmake the Westphalian system?

    Said system has what exactly to do with our current and actual problems anyway? Unless you want to trace our current degeneracy to Martin Luther?

    We have a problem with insane and evil elites, who of course aren’t themselves fans of the Westphalian system but are Transnational Universalists…and that’s not Westphalian. They’ve been trying to unmake the Westphalian system for at least a century and have had much success, our current top driven mass degeneracy for instance is pushed by same elites.

    You keep looking for a systems solution to a personnel problem.

    Said personnel of course are already putting torches to the world.


    admin Reply:

    “Perhaps it’s unwise to then unmake the Westphalian system?” — You think there’s an option at this point?


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    Yes. Use whatever we have at hand now but especially the Westphalian system to contain and mitigate the results of the reckoning and the necessary evil’s done therein.

    The First Duty is to remove the Evil and Insane from Power, that is their ability to do harm.
    This means hands either pulled or hacked off all the levers of power and influence.

    After that – the correct object of any public policy is to mitigate evil not “eliminate” Evil.

    So the option is in fact the only Choice: The Strong do what they must, while the weak do what they can to mitigate Evils. When the Strong have done what they must, then they must STOP and check themselves from doing what they CAN.

    For once any cross over the borders of Must into the lands of Can …they are all under the tyranny of King Weak. The farther the Strong Go the more they are subject to Can’t. We have found for instance we CAN’T make Asians into Europeans…not even in utterly prostrate and following all orders [at direction of Hirohito] Japan. Never mind the longer we went on and the farther we traveled into the lands of CAN the weaker we became….

    When your lines of communication aren’t merely back to material goods but your tethers to reality never has there been a strong enough Host to win to Victory. They’ll be lucky to escape with their lives and their powers expended are now the sovereign property of King Weak.

    You Sir are however proposing not to cross from Must into the deceptively tempting lands of CAN…you ask Man to enter dark and Phantom realms of CAN’T.

    Now some have mounted expeditions into the Phantom lands of CAN’T before…usually that’s the last that’s heard of them and all who followed were bought to ruin.


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    While we’re on the subject of software controlled new Human societies run on Jewish Trust networks – that have been working so well for us since we decided to elevate them from their correct level of TRADE (including money transfers aka banking) into Rule…yes it’s been marvelous…

    But while we’re on this subject it might be more credible if you had a fucking web interface that wasn’t demonically fucking possessed and I don’t mean the UNIX call daemons god fucking dammit

    The POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU…said VXXC as his screen went nuts…even typing this….

    Is this web interface for outside in running on Urbit?

    yes/no? Fucking Beta this shit then come back dammit…

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Except it is a systems problem. Sure the personnel are bad and have it coming but look at history, you wipe out the psychopaths and you get a new crop of psychopaths that replaces them because the system is designed to be filled by psychopaths. If only it were so easy as to simply kill the people at the top (the psychology of every revolution since ever). You also have to remember the direction of the change. Think about back when the US was on both silver and gold. There were two groups that didn’t like silver, the fiat green backs and the hard money gold standard. Just because they both didn’t like silver didn’t mean they actually had anything substantive in common.


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    I’m utterly unconvinced that this system, or perhaps any system short of Trotskyite/Stalinist/Maoist Communism is designed to attract and be run by psychopaths.

    We are WEAK because we let versions of Christianity that above all ignore Christianity’s founder – St. Paul- his wise admonitions and restrictions against women having men’s powers and access to power and other possible traps because they’re Protestant and think they can do anything.

    In fact it’s our strange combination of sacred Liberties [the Anti-Federalists contribution to the enterprise being The Bill of Rights], fantastically duplicated and divided powers of not just the Republic but the Jeffersonian system of Administration that came out of it – a SYSADMIN that mirrors the OS 89K times but has so many of the key permissions of read/write/KILL held locally or indeed to the Citizen themselves [2d Amendment – we are armed] that has prevented so far the nightmares of the 20th Century in terms of killing from doing anything but nibbling at the margins with say crime and abortion.

    We are WEAK and so attracted psychopaths to an extent, but mostly what we attract are congenital sociopaths. There’s a big difference – the latter is a coward and pathological liar and hence cannot be trusted with anything. Not even Tyranny, especially the Tyranny proposed here.

    Sadly we do lead far ahead of the 20th Century nightmares in perversion and depravity, but that’s again a function of our Laws and Constitution being perverted by same congenital sociopaths. [== currently greatest density of people problem.
    Said sociopaths of course are the chief pushers of mass pornography and mass idiocracy we call the media and for that matter public education.

    The most promising crop of psychopaths in the offing for rule are of course in Neo-Reaction. Oh absolutely. It takes academically trained intelligent and disconnected psychopaths [who are on the outs looking hungrily in at POWER for their Proprietary Social Engineering] to propose so casually such suffering as putting the world to the torch to remake it in an utterly inhuman image. For humans must be culled of most of those unfit [not like you] and the world remade and run by software.

    Software controlled by you, written by you and the Prophet Moldbug.

    Urbit in your hands – if you had power – would simply be a right wing version of the Cathedral where all cannot transact or pick up a usable weapon due to your software locks. You are of course raving mad, and none of this shall come to pass. The ideas that have energy under them may be used as vehicles for good or evil depending on who’s in power, but none of the intended results of Humanity being run by any of this raving Anti-Human Nihilist lunacy will come to pass. If any of ye had ever been in a fight where real danger of harm was at stake ye’d know what folly this all is…


    Izak Reply:

    Well, the problem with any discussion on these pathologies is that it will automatically have no connection to their clinical meaning, and “psychopath” and/or “sociopath” will always just be shorthand for “big jerk.”

    If we’re going to take the question seriously, the answer would be “no, of course not, what a silly suggestion.” Sociopaths, for instance, are typically highly arrogant, only able to persuade and prey upon the weak and insecure, unable to impress large masses of people, easily caught in their own web of lies, and completely disorganized. I think the highest place in government a sociopath ever got was mayor, a position held by Marcel “The Great Liquidator” Petiot around the chaos of World War 2.

    Aeroguy Reply:

    I’m also growing more and more inclined to think that Gnon in fact loves psychopaths which is why psychopathy is seen at the top of hierarchies the world over since forever. If you have any reasons or evidence as to why this isn’t so I would love to hear it because I’m not fond of psychopaths either, but my opinion doesn’t matter, only Gnon’s.


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    If you want to take as your worldview our world now – human enough but error – one could form that opinion…although I think you may be conflating psychopaths with sociopaths.

    They aren’t the same.

    Yes I have such information Sir, it is History. Do begin to read Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples and finish it.

    Take it from there…I’m fond of British Historians especially the story tellers.

    Tom Holland, Julius Norwich [Byzantium]. Churchill.

    Don’t take the 20th Century – which isn’t over – as your dataset. It’s fantastically skewed.


    Izak Reply:

    Actually, I think that your Gnon loves the Sea Sponge the most. 760 million years of mediocrity on this planet cannot be wrong. (S)he seems fairly indifferent about the psychopaths.


    Aeroguy Reply:


    Genetic troughs are something to dread, without dynamic exploration of potential solution sets eventually extinction events reset everything back to what are (by the numbers) Gnon’s favorites, the simplest structures. A complex solution set will need to be arrived at if known life is to spread beyond the pale blue dot and thus persist beyond it’s inevitable destruction. Order in the universe does seem to have a purpose connected to carrying out the laws of thermodynamics. More efficiently dissipating energy into entropy, an idea which reaffirms theories that measure civilization by energy output and date the current cycle of civilization as having peaked in 1971. Seems like a crystal clear mandate by Gnon to conquer the stars and exploit every energy source to the fullest.


    I’ll take up your reading material. I’m glad that you also note the distinction between psychopaths and sociopaths. Like aspergers and autism, sociopaths are the low functioning end. The current crop of psychopaths are incompetent/unwise to be sure though, but very good at playing the game, and the game doesn’t test competence/wisdom (traits that are not honed by academia or populism) rigorously enough.

    We will have to look very deep into the details of history, historians focus their attentions on the exceptional men of their respective eras, what we’re looking for are what the more mundane men at the top behaved like. When I started cutting my teeth on Roman history I saw Cato the younger as a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic from populist opportunist Julius Caesar. The reality though was that Cato himself was among the last bit of virtue the Senate had left. There were other failed attempts at seizing dictator power and as the senate would only grow more decadent it’s fate was sealed, if not Julius it would have been someone else.

    There’s a J.S. Mill quote seared permanently in my brain. “War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” Rights like the ones Jefferson crafted aren’t derived from some deity or arrived at by a-priori logic, they’re artificial constructs that begin and end with the barrel of a loaded gun. The mistake, was making the rights universal, sharing freedom with those unworthy of it. Weakness was invited in and then weakness declared itself a virtue.

    “We the people”, when has anything good ever come after beginning with such presumptuous pretense. The hierarchy and inherent inequality of men wasn’t enshrined but rather speckled into the Constitution, a project for the fated saints of equality to remove, and remove they did. The document was entirely too democratic from the very beginning, the ratchet of expanding suffrage built in. The Constitution is a document that is built to move steadily left.

    Izak Reply:

    Thanks for the link, Aeoguy!

    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 4:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Paul Ennis Says:

    I hope you don’t mean SWARM specifically. These alt-coins die faster than fish out of water:

    Blockchain in general, sure. Also Darkcoin just pulled off instant transactions.


    admin Reply:

    “I hope you don’t mean SWARM specifically” — No, I mean DAOs in general. Darwinism can sort out the specifics.


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 7:50 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:


    There is hope in history even among the ruthless.

    Indeed there’s hope all around us, we just aren’t allowed to meet them by virtue of having media and academia as the supposed guardians of virtue, in truth the Scylla and Charybdis that no wax can drown out. Look at the NYPD turning their backs. A miracle.

    The Constitution and more importantly Jeffersonian SysAdmin of mirroring the Republic many thousands of times in every town, 20K of whom have their own law enforcement…these contracts are vehicles at this point, the best we have. That we have. That we have.
    We have them and guns and men. We are not allowed leaders but of course they exist, who would stick their heads up now. Yes Oaths should be upheld, it’s important in times like these. Especially when they’re the only game in town.

    We have a problem of evil and unfit people, changing the stationary won’t help.

    We have all the troops but they’re very good at denying us leaders at every level.

    They have no Troops and no men, but have rendered us leaderless. Pressure will change that, and they’ve nicely arranged the pressures. Cascading disasters in Echelons await the slightest slip. When it comes take any handle one can get.


    Posted on February 14th, 2015 at 2:21 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/02/13) | The Reactivity Place Says:

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    Posted on February 14th, 2015 at 8:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sovereignty and Property | The New International Outlook Says:

    […] a means by which the discussion in areas of ownership become settled on a thing – the blockchain contract (can you say the contract is a thing in this sense?). To be added to this is the fact that the […]

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  • JBP Says:

    Nick, I will take even money on true fusion energy in 25 years over your scenario.


    Posted on June 27th, 2015 at 2:55 pm Reply | Quote

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