A mindful, measured, hopeful solution.
A Call for Cautious Optimism
After reading the Techno-Optimist Manifesto from Marc Andreessen this week and responses from several others, like Timour here, it is well past time for me to publish this piece on Cautious Optimism.
I’ve advocated for cautious optimism for as long as I’ve been in the tech industry and even more since being a community professional in web3. For all my hopeful yearnings, this is a brief call to action for those who believe.
As I grow older and earn more experience through building rich connections with the people around me, it has become clear the needs of those who most desperately desire the liberation of their loved ones and the advancements that can and will see them into the future.
And so, with the accelerating pace of technical progress, we find ourselves at a crossroads, where the ethos of Cautious Optimism emerges as a compass guiding us toward a future that honors both our innovative spirit of adventure and our shared humanity. This is a map.
In a world increasingly dominated by screens and digital interfaces, the specter of alienation looms. We acknowledge this challenge and are committed to fostering spaces, both virtual and physical, where individuals engage in meaningful interactions, rediscovering the essence of community.
We are judged not by how we treat ourselves but by how we nurture one another.
Decentralized Digital Identity: Authentic Self-Expression
Centralized identity systems often act as gatekeepers, creating barriers and biases that can fuel societal fragmentation. We champion the advent of decentralized digital identity solutions as a means to restore control and agency to individuals.
This decentralization paves the way for more authentic self-expression, fostering a sense of belonging and a holistic, inclusive community ethos.
Amplification of Diverse Voices
The fruits of progress are a collective heritage to be shared and celebrated by all layers of society. Our policies aspire to foster a culture where the winds of change lift all, leaving no space adrift in the wake of disruption.
Ethical Market Dynamics and Innovation
Markets, while potent, are fallible. We advocate for sensible safeguards that keep a check on harmful actions and prevent exploitation, aiming for market dynamics that are not just efficient but also in harmony with ethical and societal needs.
Our engineers and designers, grounded in empathy and ethical considerations, examine the social impacts of the work.
Technology, in its noblest form, serves as a conduit for fortifying communities and invigorating democratic ethos. It nurtures spaces for healthy discourse and robust governance, laying the foundations for an ethical tech ecosystem. By developing and adopting technologies that honor this continuum, we facilitate a seamless integration of self and community regardless of the medium.
This holistic approach aims to alleviate alienation, nurture a profound sense of belonging, and catalyze a culture of innovation grounded in the collective human experience.
Entrusted with remarkable capabilities, we bear a solemn duty to channel our endeavors toward creating abundance and mitigating suffering.
With a heart full of hope, a mind steeped in thoughtfulness, and hands ready for diligent work, we envision a better world not as a distant mirage but as a tangible promise awaiting fruition.
🤖 I asked ClaudeAI what it would add to this.
Seeking Harmony Between Progress and Nature
As technology opens new frontiers of human achievement, we must remain conscious of our embedment within nature. Earth's ecological balance, diversity, and grandeur sustain our sciences and inspire our greatest works. We seek an integration of ancient insight and futuristic vision - where progress enhances, rather than diminishes, our planet's integrity. Our innovations should honor the interdependence of humanity and nature. We work to forge an honorable partnership between the ageless wisdom of the Earth and the boundless potential of the human intellect.
The essence of Cautious Optimism, grounded in reality and witness to the broken systems, gives way to hope while advocating for a more whole connection to the people we serve in our daily lives and our work.
It is a reflection of our active participation in a system designed to bring technology to life that befits all people who choose it.
While yes, it is a centrist viewpoint, cautious optimists recognize those at the edges are the ones building a culture where users of new technology bring essential perspectives to ponder.
Through a reformed lens of community activation, this optimism reflects how connection to our fellow brothers and sisters is more important than ever, especially when new disruptions bring pain and suffering.
Hunting and Gathering 🔗
Here are some things I found through the week
My friend Cameron Armstrong launched a better link-in-bio this week called Seemore. It takes your most engaged content from around the web and displays it in simple, branded, flippable cards for connecting readers to creators.
It is designed for creators with content on multiple platforms, but feel free to send Cameron a direct cast on Farcaster with any questions.
The first cohort of the launch was a rousing success on Farcaster, where much of Cameron’s audience hangs out.
Seemore.tv is only $5/month (no crypto payment option yet), which is less expensive than most other link-in-bio options out there, and is totally hands-off for creators, so no thinking is involved.
✥ Did You Know? For more than a month, Cloud Scouts has been featured on the Zora homepage in the PDF section!
As Scouts, we are explorers, adventurers, and observers. It is our mission to add thoughtful art, frameworks, essays, and more to breathe life into our shared spaces ☁️
Current Request: seeking design, content, and advising contributors to our upcoming Onchain Scout Handbook
If you’d like to work directly with me or partner on the seminal work, reply or send me a DM and let’s chat!
We aim to highlight Cloud Scouts members and supporters to diversify our work in the space. This is a chance to have your work featured early as we grow into an onchain Scouting organization.
Submit your work to the open call anytime. If you have questions or want to get some feedback on your submission, I’m always open to chat.
🚧 Updates 🚧
Thank you to all the collectors of Expansive Communities. We now have 233 editions minted with 13 days left! If you have any questions about the writing, please let me know.
✥ Once the mint ends, I will claim the rewards and add them to the Cloud Scouts treasury to be used for future proposals. I have begun work on our next PDF or artwork and would love to speak with some folks about it, so reach out if you want to be part of that process!
Expansive Communities is minted as a 15-page PDF including extra details and visualizations, the first of the series to live in The Nursery. 🪴
Your weekly source for all things upcoming with our lovely Scouts. Learn more at our website!
Bringing Scouting Onchain ☁️
While our identities are an internal mystery, our onchain adventures aren’t. Scouting offers adults an opportunity for coordination through service to self and others, exploring new technologies, media, and apps our friends build.
Show your support by Bookmarking this newsletter issue, sharing it with others, and collecting our membership.
Artizen Season 3 has begun! Visit our page here. Sponsors for our mint are Funding the Commons and Juicebox!
Starting now, you can purchase art from Anna Berlett Vargas, Scout and occasional designer of Cloud Scout artwork. Each one mint for 0.01ETH or around $20 plus a gas fee.
This AI-assisted illustration by Anna is her vision for a united Scouting organization blending the past with the future as we continue to adventure together.
artwork by Anna Berlett Vargas for Cloud Scouts
Every Thursday, we come together for Patrol meetings, feedback sessions, and updates. I’ve moved this meeting to every Thursday to give more opportunities to chat! Feel free to stop by anytime.
Want to partner with Cloud Scouts? Have a new feature you’re launching we should know about? Send me an email or DM to discuss how.