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DemocracyEarthNotes

Page history last edited by rsb 2 years, 11 months ago

 

Summary

 

Democracy earth is a proposal to build decentralized world government software on the blockchain.  You become a citizen of the decentralized government, and you can participate in various suborganizations, voting on issues.  Voting tokens are given to you by the org you join by one scheme or another (they suggest one) and you spend them to help make decisions.  Some decisions will affect distrubtion of common funds, so you have an economic governance system, here.  

 

I like the idea in general.  They point out some very nice qualities of blockchains for voting systems (immutable record, etc.).  But...it's at V 0.1 and it shows.  It could use some support from an established project like Aragon, and some experienced technical writers. 

 

This project could be an important bit of research, depending on future directions.

 

Democracy Earth (DE) is a logical realization of planet-scale governance that recognizes privacy and autonomy.  It's not the first and it won't be the only one, but it's a nice start at a broad definition.

 

Really huge issue I have with [my understanding of|:] this whole thing is that they are selling their *vote* tokens in an ICO, and it's totally unclear what effect that has on their voting systems and what investors will gain from this.  They don't describe *vote* tokens in the whitepaper as a platform-use-utility token - they describe them as the stuff that you vote with.  I've got to be missing something or they are creating a really odd thing.  They *must* be using the ICO tokens to create orgs, or some such thing, but it's hard to find that info. 

 

Markets evolve naturally, so transferrable votes yield capital democracies, every time.  Thats where they are headed AFAICT, today.  That will probably be debated in democracy earths fora.

 

Youtube vid: 

 

Watched the first vid that comes up on youtube for these guys - link above.  Did Santiago say that only bitcoin has consensus?  No real information in the vid outside of the idea that we need better governance systems.  There's a beatles reference, though. 

 

Whitepaper:

 

Style

 

1) There is a good bit of well-intended commentary thrown into this paper.  In the intro, they somehow got the us 2016 election wrong - botnets taking down chunks of the internet were a prime mover of the election results?  This clearly was not the attack.  We had a 51% social attack carried out over many years, with spam courtesy of foreign governments. 

 

They continue this style of commentary as example, sometimes more successfully than others, bringing up recent events frequently.  Well-intended, but somewhat distracting.  Feels very US-centric.

 

2) They are really focusing way too hard on bitcoin.  They define everything in terms of the most energy inefficient mechanism possible.  Probably because they are being helped by some amazing individuals who are bitcoin maximalists.

 

3) They make bold claims stated as absolutes or extremes.

 

4) They need an english speaker to review the english version for grammar and style.  This paper is painful to read.

 

Overall, there appears to be no steady hand to trim this whitepaper down and rebuild it in a clear way, defining it clearly.  The various bits of the paper make you want to love it, but it might die by committee.  

 

There are nice quotes throughout:

 

"It is the technology that we do not control that is used to control us." Emiliano Kargieman, space hacker (1975)

 

"You can cross an international border carrying a billion dollars in bitcon entirely in your head." - Naval Ravikant

 

What they would like to build:

 

Sovereign - a set of compatible applications for democratic governance:

 

There are various decentralized smart contracts, and a voting app.

 

Voting app enables:

 

* Secrecy - voter must be able to cast in secret

* Verifiability - voter can verify tally

* Integrity - system can verify tally

* Resistance - voter override

 

After describing that, they go through a potentially nice taxonomy of the features of liquid democracy characteristics.  Best part of this paper - needs a lot of work on some of the explanations, though.

 

At this point in the paper, it seems like this is a proposal to build out a system that can handle their ideal form of democracy, if they can handle all the corner cases, maybe this is promising.  It's just a big system.  They need a *lite* version to make this a non-disaster in it's first incarnation.  And they need to emphasize flexibility in choosing a governance system - they won't get it right for all groups all the time, the first time.  Can they survive the type of time it takes to build this?

 

Decent UI proposed - at least a nice first pass - the momentum and resources of this org seem solid.  A lot of people want something like this to happen.

 

Agora voting based on forum threads is a bit odd.  Cryptoeconomics are unclear on the "vote" token.  Even the diagrams, I feel, require a few assumptions that are up to the reader.

 

Self-soveriegn identity and proof of identity protocol:

 

Motivation: For identities to be self-sovereign, they cannot be owned or controlled by governments...the key to sustain the value of the vote token as a means for a borderless democracy is to effectively validate all participating identities through a decentralized process that can create, update or revoke keys.

 

Method: Blockbirth is a word for your first proof of ID: This is just a fun thing to think about.  An org vouches for a video you put on the blockchain each year identifying yourself.  You get some vote tokens for identifying yourself.

 

Well, AI is already beating all captchas, it could easily generate blockbirth and proof of ID in the future.  The only suggestion for defeating automation in this paper is to continue the captcha arms race - and the org v4.  But I still think this video thing is a fun and possibly useful way to generate an ID.  

 

The most powerful part of their proof of ID scheme is just the org-vouching.  This is kind of the way a lot of systems are going - give one another the V4 to generate rep (ala bloom attestation for credit ratings - and every other rep system).  That's strong, and the captcha just defeats a lot of low-level attacks.

 

You can encode some useful data in a video easily, though, which could be very handy and serve other purposes.  I like this whole proof of ID space.  And it's kind of cool that they think like futurists.  This is where they start to talk about a world government:

 

"Even though this process can be more complex than the average sign-up form found on most applications, it is important to state that it is also a political act declaring independence from authorities of any kind. This video is the personal manifesto anyone can make to break free from coercion and a step taken towards a borderless democracy."

 

Universal Basic Income:

 

This section is a little fuzzy - they suggest a way to convert votes into income.  Man, are they ever overloading this token.

 

"Votes" can be obtained via:

 

* Delegation - individual gives one-time vote

* Grant - org gives one-time vote

* Drip - org give indefinite, automatic installment votes

 

"Genesis Identity":

 

Just a way to track the amount of drip votes that have been issued since the org was created, per person.  Everyone starts with that base amount.  So if you get one vote per year and the first person joined ten years ago, he has 10 drip votes.  Someone else who joins in year 10 is issued 10 votes on day 1.

 

It's not how they state it, but they are trying to keep voting *opportunity* equal.

 

The ICO

 

This is where I get lost.

 

According to the whitepaper, vote tokens are things that get issued by orgs and delegated or expended in *democratic* voting processes.  Why on earth would anyone be selling them?  It seems crazy.

 

It can't be right.

 

I've been asking on their slack about this, and trying to ascertain where they really discuss the selling of *votes* to raise for their ICO, and how that affects *democracy* within their systems going forward.  No response.

 

Reading about this is thought provoking. 

 

My country is currently demonstrating it's defense against a dangerous 51% attack on it's democracy through a highly coordinated side channel attack (brainwash the precise groups required to win an election).  I really don't, at first read, see an applicable rubric for defense from that kind of attack in the democracy earth whitepaper.  Power is not decentralized enough right now, IMHO, so I'm always hoping to find better ways to manage that. 

 

As stated earlier, driving this kind of thought, and collecting data based on it, would be an excellent outcome for this project.  Any contribution of working governance code to existing orgs is speculative, but could one day be realized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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