The democratization of the internet naturally parallels the democratization of real-world societies.
grarpamp at gmail.com
Sun Oct 23 11:26:03 PDT 2022
"Social Legitimacy -- A Glorious Revolution for the Internet."
Where Free Speech, Human Freedom, and Platform's Data and very
Existance becomes a "Federal, Protocol-wide decision" based on
the "Stakeholders" "Rules".
And the level of psycho-linguistic bullshit they purvey to do it.
Here's more from these Internet-Globalists and their plans
to launch and entrench violent systems of 'Democracy'
and 'Governance' upon the Internet, more of their 'Stakeholders'
their GovCorps and Brainwashed Captured Masses 'Voting' their
force over your and Free Peoples life, freedom, liberty, and diversity.
Now weasling its way into and over the Internet.
Their intended 'Democracy'... nothing more than a distributed harder to kill
version of their conveniently dismissed Monarchs. Now instead of one,
you have hundreds to thousand of cockroaches infesting and ruling
from the top in a big shell game... and they granted you with every 'Vote' that
you get to vote them more power and yourself into more lockdown oppression
and erasure. This brilliant 'stakeholder' scam of theirs was
intentional and by design,
ever since they dreamed it up in the Magna Carta... it's no wonder the
the first one was annulled.
Tim Sullivan @Tim_Org
Research editor at a16zcrypto.com Worked: @ucpress, @harvardbiz,
@princetonupress Wrote: amazon.com/Tim-Sullivan/e… These are hardly
even my views...
Joined May 2012
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Porter Smith @_portersmith
system design | decentralized decision-making | climate. working on
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Andy Hall @ahall_research
Working on democracy, decentralized governance, and tech and society.
Prof @StanfordGSB @Stanford.
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Toppling the Internet’s Accidental Monarchs: How to Design web3
by Porter Smith and Andrew Hall
October 21, 2022
In 1688, the British Parliament conspired successfully to overthrow
the increasingly tyrannical James II and install his daughter Mary and
her husband, William of Orange, on the throne. While many factors
motivated the revolution, concerns about James’s centralized,
authoritarian powers were key. James had dissolved Parliament, claimed
that he could unilaterally write laws, and repeatedly forced wealth
holders to “lend” the Crown money at low interest rates.
After James’s overthrow, often called the “Glorious Revolution,”
Members of Parliament moved to decentralize power. They presented the
new monarchs with a Declaration of Rights, which asserted that from
then on, Parliament, and not the Crown, would have the authority to
write and execute laws and to approve new taxes, among other powers.
This decentralization of power may have triggered a new era of
institutional trust, permanently altering Great Britain’s social and
The resulting framework — the tenet that trust can spur growth — has
had long-running implications for political and economic institutions
ever since: organizations with fairer governance structures that
credibly protect stakeholder interests tend to win.
Today, the large Web 2.0 platforms that dominate our economic and
social experiences lack these fair structures. But web3 governance —
if built thoughtfully in a way that reflects lessons from the history
of governance, as we have argued — will offer an embedded foundation
of credible trust to build the next generation of platforms.
Many of the most successful web3 protocols have an opportunity to
cement their long-term competitive advantage by sharing governance and
giving up some of their power, sparking engaged community governance.
Done correctly, this can unleash new innovation and economic growth
anchored in social legitimacy — a Glorious Revolution for the
Web2’s accidental monarchies
Big Tech companies have, metaphorically at least, become accidental
versions of James II: powerful entities who govern unilaterally. As
Ben Thompson has pointed out in recent pieces for Stratechery, their
enormous success in delivering products and experiences that users
value, combined with the network effects and natural incentives to
scale in digital marketplaces, has given them authority over a broad
swath of commercial and social activity online while often placing
them at odds with the users and contributors who create value for
When these platforms were first growing, these arrangements posed
little problem. As more users joined the platform, more contributors
wanted to produce goods for the platform; as more contributors
produced more goods on the platform, more users wanted to use the
platform. This flywheel is at the heart of the success of Web 2.0
platforms (and has roots going back even to medieval Champagne fairs).
But ongoing disputes between Amazon and its third-party merchants,
Etsy and its sellers, and Apple and its iOS developers, among others,
suggest that at some point the flywheel starts spinning off axis. When
platforms grow, contributors become locked in. And inevitably, inch by
inch, they start to feel that their interests are no longer served in
the same ways.
The ultimate consequence is that, on the margin, without credible
promises that their interests will be reflected in the platform’s
governance process, platform contributors become less enthusiastic to
contribute to platforms or to join new ones.
But this issue goes beyond economic considerations, too. Some of the
most vexing problems of absolute power are actually about values,
rights, and social legitimacy. When large platforms unilaterally make
decisions that affect society, but that are perceived as reflecting
the platform’s interests rather than society’s, they become less
When operating well, democracy, in contrast, generates social
legitimacy by setting policies through processes that people interpret
as fair, neutral, and considerate of their views. But Web 2.0
platforms have no such process, and governments have been reluctant to
intervene by creating processes of their own. As such, they remain
accidental monarchies forced to make decisions on their own, without
widespread user input and the corresponding legitimacy it engenders.
How platforms can empower community governance
The governance challenges of large Web 2.0 platforms stem from the
unilateral decisions they make over commercial and social activity
online. web3 can help mitigate this problem by giving platform
participants important powers to set rules in stone, increasing social
legitimacy and spurring economic growth. But this introduces important
new organizational design questions concerning the relationships
between a protocol and its application interfaces, or clients, that
grant access to it.
(Source: Miles Jennings)
Here is an example framework, including some of the open questions,
exploring how governance architectures could be designed to
incorporate these features in the platforms of the future.
1. Encoding rules at the protocol layer.
web3 platforms can encode specific commitments into smart
contracts at the protocol layer. This could include things like
revenue sharing or fee structures, helping to incentivize investment
by creators, developers, sellers, and other contributors.
These fundamental commitments create a federal-like system:
protocol-level rules encoded in smart contracts create a uniform
foundation of constraints, while individual applications or clients
are free to add further rules on top.
2. Empowering the community to govern more granularly at the app layer.
Many important governance decisions — like determining when a
product or a piece of content violates community standards — require
subjective judgment and cannot be readily encoded into self-executing
Empowering the community to make governance decisions like these
leads platform participants to trust the platform long-term, and to
preserve its social legitimacy. These decisions can be executed at the
web3 offers new tools to enable this necessary community governance:
First, distribute voting power to relevant stakeholders: this
could be equitably distributed governance tokens, 1:1 non-transferable
voting NFTs, some combination of both, or a new voting construct (for
example based on social media profiles, etc.).
Build in delegation and other ways to foster
representative government to avoid the pitfalls of low participation.
Then, create tools for the community to make policy. This might include:
Legislatures, which could include representative bodies of
users, sellers, developers, creators, or other contributors who get to
set important policies through deliberation and voting (for some
examples, see the Optimism Collective, MakerDAO’s delegates, or
JokeDAO’s checks and balances.)
Voting power that is randomly awarded to a representative
subset of users who receive detailed briefings on the problem at hand
— a modern version of “sortition” akin to Citizens’ Assemblies.
Also create tools for the community to enforce policy. This could include:
Incentives for “auditors” to report violations of platform
rules, with a penalty for false flags. This could be an app-level
Legislatures or other representative bodies can oversee
systems of AI-based enforcement at scale, auditing the performance of
the enforcement system and/or approving proposed changes to
And finally, create tools for the community to adjudicate disputes
regarding policy enforcement. This might include:
Juries of peers who review a case and determine whether the
enforcement action stands or is overturned.
A panel of experts or trusted members of the community who
issue judgments on particularly difficult and important cases that set
precedent for future cases with parallel circumstances.
3. Separating protocol from app governance.
In some cases, community governance — using the tools we just laid
out — can occur solely at the app level, with different interfaces
free to experiment with differing levels of policy restrictions,
algorithms for recommendation and curation, and so on. Competition
among interfaces provides users choice, and choice fosters legitimacy
and good governance.
But communities must also decide on the core mission of the
protocol: should it be a public good or a base layer that accrues
value from interfaces building on top of it?
Moreover, if revenues accrue to the protocol level, then
community governance will be required to determine how to manage the
treasury and distribute public goods.
And in some cases, issues of negative externalities may require
further, limited community governance at the protocol layer.
If an interface engages in activity that damages the entire
protocol, then community governance at the protocol layer is necessary
to enjoin this activity and preserve the value of the protocol.
Disputes among apps, and other issues regarding the
relationship between them, may also require adjudication at the
Finally, protocol-level governance may be necessary to update the
protocol in ways that encourage ongoing competition among apps,
because this competition is necessary for the long-run legitimacy and
health of the ecosystem.
To the extent it’s needed, protocol-level governance can use the
same tools for community governance that we laid out above for
app-level governance, including token-based voting, delegation,
juries, sortition, etc.
4. Changing the rules (if necessary).
An array of design choices exists in determining the relationship
between protocol and app layers. Protocols may be fully neutral and
unchangeable, or they may incorporate an amendment process.
Conversely, the apps could feature more adaptability suited for their
curated communities, subject to core limitations imposed by the
A minimum amount of governance at the protocol level enables the
greatest amount of freedom and flexibility at the app level.
However, the protocol may wish to retain some degree of adaptability.
This creates a potential market-driven trade-off between immutable
credible commitments at the protocol layer and user retention, or
growth choices, at the app layer; in other words, trustworthiness
web3 offers an alternative to the accidental monarchies of the modern
era. The underlying technology, by its very nature, can empower
communities to govern themselves, reducing the centralized authority
that has come to define Web 2.0. If done thoughtfully, this “Glorious
Revolution” for the internet will lead to more socially legitimate
platforms built on a layer of trust — one that, as history
foreshadows, could lead to new types of growth and innovation.
In pursuing this revolution, we firmly believe in governance
minimalism: projects and protocols should not add more complex forms
of governance than they need. But very large platforms that affect all
of society may require complex forms of governance, because they are
the new public commons. The public should have a say in how they
The path from where we are today to fully functioning, well-governed
decentralized platforms will be a windy one. Democracy is messy, and
no design survives the real world. But the promise of web3 lies in its
fundamental principles and rapid experiments it enables. As we learn
from these experiments, we’ll build increasingly effective
decentralized governance that will make possible the democratic
platforms of the future — platforms where users, developers, creators,
sellers, and not monarchs, collectively rule.
Andrew Hall is a Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School
of Business at Stanford University and a Professor of Political
Science. He works with the a16z research lab and is an advisor to tech
companies, startups, and blockchain protocols on issues at the
intersection of technology, governance, and society.
Porter Smith is the Head of Network Operations for a16z’s crypto team.
He focuses on governance architecture, organizational design, and
decentralized decision-making within web3.
Editor: Tim Sullivan
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