What is a culture without vision and the authors of a vision to be spread through exploration?
I mentioned this week in a Twitter Spaces chat with Charmverse (linked down below) how I was a DAO skeptic when I started digging into them nearly two years ago. I have since, for a while now, been very optimistic about the future of new governance systems that facilitate connection.
I was a skeptic because I believe that the world has had enough of the incessant capitalism and financialization of everything. The next logical step for the Information Age is decentralizing systems for self-governance, information, art, and autonomy. Cultures and connections should be thoughtfully crafted through a vision that makes sense, not just for those on the inside but for the rest of us. Those who often miss out and are less equipped to understand because global digital literacy is still a very real problem.
Many decentralized “autonomous” organizations currently operate because they govern where protocols are being built. These are similar to how we use the Internet today, like HTTP or ENS (learn here). Many others allow for more equitable governance to build social connections, called Social DAOs, and better, more adaptable, accountable humans or even a better, more regenerative, and sustainable life on Earth.
So let's take a look into my vision for a more decentralized connection to people and how we intend to work together — creating deeper, more meaningful cultures for tomorrow.
Culture Is Programmable
Culture is programmable. Online or onchain, cultures are more programmed into us than ever before. We see the infrastructures and algorithms built on the Internet over the past few decades degrade and turn into degeneracy (not the fun kind) that has eroded our cultures into desperate transactions, extractive cultures, and the failure of governments.
In this sense, Marshal McLuhan’s words resonate to this day:
Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and to ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs.
These new mediums, as he calls them, shape a new sort of society, a further expansion of the global village. But our actions using the blockchain must be scrutinized. With this level of data availability, we must recognize that new infrastructures lead to greater opportunities for privacy while also leaving this sense of transparency open to everyone.
The Decentralized Age
We express ourselves through messages and mediums that are diverse and more connected at a more rapid pace than ever imagined through verifiable and immutable means.
Every form of media is more decentralized with each passing day. One finds that decentralizing moves power from the few to the many, leading to greater opportunities for education, entertainment, finance, art, and social connection, most recently through advancements in artificial intelligence.
The tools and technologies we use are identity technologies. We use them to shape who we are today, and they use us to shape who we become tomorrow.
But do we really know who we are, or does being too online continue the cycle of escapism, a perpetual pause from answering these questions?
We are living in a reflection of yesterday. McLuhan would describe it as the rearview mirror. He says, “The future of the future is the present.”
Nostalgia rules our very existence. But should it? No, not at all.
I propose that we are creating a new type of global village. One where we seek self-governance within each of the many pockets of culture we experience. We are to shape our identities through continual feedback loops, mindful, of course, of where and how swiftly the pendulum swings.
If a governance proposal is the canvas of today for how a community crafts culture, members of those communities are the paintbrush of tomorrow. 🖌️
This is community as art. Thus, the medium is connection.
In this open, decentralized medium, we must take warning from the lessons of the Electronic Age not to look into the past too deeply for guidance but to become self-aware of how we live in the moment. What good have these self-validation feedback loops and vanity metrics done for us besides feeding our next dopamine hit? They have consumed, extracted, and shaped our very humanity.
Accountability In Action
When we focus more on the human-centered designs of culture while also paying enough attention to the advances of new protocols which evolve from their fathers, such as DNS or SMTP, we move into ones such as BTC, ETH, OP, and the various generative models.
We can then focus on humanizing our identities through the governance structures of tomorrow, where we (occasionally) switch out the word Autonomous in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) for Adaptable, Accountable, or even *gasp Aligned.
I much prefer this notion of Accountable organizations, where humans are accountable for and with one another.
We can do this through dynamic forms of resilient governance that shift as quickly as needed, just as we, as members, adapt.
Yes, these organizations are decentralized, genuinely putting the power in the hands of the many rather than the few.
Yes, we artfully craft a global village that is organized through the use of new technologies. For the village, by the village.
However, these cultures of tomorrow must be governed through power with one another, not power over one another. The village must maintain itself through collaborative, aligned, and accountable efforts.
This is how I see onchain and offchain governance succeeding and why I have set out to build a human-centered yet decentralized future for self-governing bodies of exploration and societal detective work.
If you resonate with these messages, provide feedback, share this article with others, and explore with me.
Additional must-read resources:
Your weekly source of all things upcoming with our lovely Scouts. Learn more at our website!
Every other Thursday, we come together for Patrol meetings, feedback sessions, activities, and troop updates.
Exploring Spatial Worlds! 🏕️
On off-weeks for Troop Chat, Scout Sarah takes us on adventures to explore virtual worlds in Spatial and other platforms. She’s our very own Ms. Frizzle! This coming week we held our third exploration in Spatial of gallery spaces. All in preparation for creating our own virtual spaces for learning, gathering, and deciding together.
Join us again by the campfire in two weeks
This week I took Cloud Scouts to two separate spaces I adore.
I was part of SheFi Season 8 with a bunch of other amazing women and non-binary friends to learn about DeFi from founder Maggie Love. Sponsored by Polygon, along with dozens of other members, I was able to attend the cohort of people curious about the protocols we find so fascinating. Learn more about SheFi here.
SheFi recently held a Summit in Paris. So inspiring to see leaders gathering for networking, building, and panels during EthCC.
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to present a workshop on Dynamic Governance to the SheFi community and roleplayed through building a working group and consenting to a DAO proposal.
When a DAO needs a space for voting on proposals, carrying out bounties, and handling documentation, it often looks to a tool like Charmverse—an all-in-one Notion-like tool built for decentralized communities and their members to gather and govern together.
On Wednesday this week, I chatted with Charmverse community manager Xandra for a bit about what community building in web3 is all about. We had an incredible discussion on the origins of Cloud Scouts and why human-centered coordination is vital to the proliferation of values-driven brands in the space.
Want to partner with Cloud Scouts? Send me a DM on Twitter or reply to this email for a chat.