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How can we raise the funds so that we can stop talking and start doing?

(Michael Hrenka) #21

Sure, it’s very hard to help people stay engaged over long periods of time. I am currently not the ideal person for that, as I struggle keeping myself engaged even with my own projects, which is a problem that mainly stems from a lack of healthful energy. What I’m saying here is that I would prefer to share the responsibility for the Social Future Forum and related projects with others who would be wiling to do so. Volunteers are very welcome :smile:

@Maximo_Ramallo Sure, there are risks involved when engaging with “dirty” organisations, but there’s also the problem that if we want to definitely reject cooperation with other organisations that we would need to have very clear rules about what counts as “dirty” and what not. That may be controversial and therefore difficult. I suggest we shouldn’t exclude a huge class of potential collaborating organisations a priori out of ideological reasons. Sooner or later, we will have to make hard decisions, but I think it would be most appropriate to discuss each case separately when the need to do so arises. This is a most natural approach, I think.

About DAVS: At the moment I do not have the technical knowledge to judge how suitable DAVS would be as a basis for any kind of other project. Sure, some projects might build on DAVS, but then there’s also the question whether they should. After all, there are other potential bases out there, for example Ethereum.


DAVS will primarily be built on top of Ethereum. Ethereum is a platform while DAVS is to be a decentralized autonomous organization or decentralized autonomous virtual state.

DAVS should allow for consensus making in the form of voting, secure communication on a decentralized social network or forum like this, decentralized identity so we can verify who everyone is, decentralized reputation so everyone can have status (similar to what you’re thinking about with quantified prestige), and so on.

But DAVS is probably wont be able to connect to all other projects. Ideally it would be nice you could take your identity / citizenship from DAVS and use that anywhere else on any other protocol. So DAVS has to be protocol agnostic even if it runs on Ethereum.

DAVS is probably more like BitNation but specific for Zerostate. It ideally should provide for some services like friend to friend insurance, basic income, etc.

It has the potential to be very disruptive but in a good way. It can bring decentralized order which is something many people believe is not possible to do but is really just an emergent property we see in nature. DAVS will allow Zerostate to provide a self governance layer for cyberpsace/virtual space which is an area which right now acts as the wild west because certain technologies haven’t been invented.

As far as the potential of what it can be it depends on how much resources we have and how many features we could implement. I have some of the design worked out but other parts I’d probably learn from case studies on other projects.

Whether or not it would be sustainable is hard to say right now. You could make certain aspects of it self sustaining such as the social networking part because a social network becomes more valuable as more people join it. I cannot predict how many people would join it though nor could I know what people would do with the technology.

(Michael Hrenka) #23

Thanks for these explanations, Darklight. It seems like DAVS doesn’t have a business model in itself, because it would operate as a kind of government without the ability to claim taxes. This suggests a different revenue model: State run companies which use their profits to fund Zero State and the DAVS project.

This seems to suggest that we first need cash cows that make the creation and maintenance of DAVS economically viable. As it stands, DAVS is just a too ambitious project to be able to be created by a small group of volunteers. Quantified Prestige would probably be a bit easier to implement, and it could be used to generate profits, so I suggest we recruit a team of volunteers who create that first.

Now, we are basically back at the beginning of the topic: We need to raise funds for the creation of cash cow companies to generate the funds to create and run DAVS. It’s an interesting bootstrapping problem.


We have ways to do taxes. Transaction taxes for example which is using.

The idea is that basic income can be provided by voluntary rather than coercive taxes. People will agree to pay the tax because they want to keep citizenship in DAVS and the same effect that keeps people using Facebook is what would keep people paying the transaction taxes. People have a desire to be a part of a community, but in order to be part of a community you must give back to the community. People tend to want to support their social network and a community of people who share their ideals.

There are a some other ideas of what can be built after we have decentralized identity and decentralized reputation. An example from my blog:

A gift economy could be built up from a decentralized reputation based reward network. Reputation could be gained by giving effectively. This would encourage effective altruism. The concept I invented to create the incentive mechanism to encourage effective altruism is the “reputation lottery” described in the blog.

I do not think “state” should run companies. DACs should be designed to be autonomous and run by themselves (with very minimal human intervention). Decentralized autonomous corporations would be run by AI and owned by private individuals but these DACs would give back to the community (DAVS is the community) by pre-allocating a fixed percentage of their shares to DAVS.

So for example if you and I both made separate DACs what we could do as developers is program into the DAC a sharedrop. The allocation of shares in the DAC is at the discretion of the developers but since the developers would be citizens of DAVS we could mandate that to be a good citizen of DAVS requires following the social contract which means you must give say 10% of your DAC to the citizens of DAVS. Meeting the threshold of at least 10% would win us reputation within DAVS and the more we give the better our reptuation.

This way DAVS citizens would acquire ownership in the means of production (automation) over time which is better than taxes. The idea is to follow a script similar to what was put forward by James Albus.


I agree with you that DAVS is very ambitious. In fact it was far more ambitious than I realized when I proposed the idea. But I do think it’s the direction Zerostate should go and it’s ahead of the curve with regards to the decentralization community which is what we should be striving for as radical futurists.

DAVS itself in it’s most basic form might not require bootstrapping but if it is to be sustainable it does require that all citizens of DAVS support each other. This means citizens who create DACs should always give a percentage ownership to the citizens of DAVS. There should probably be a formal process to this such as a social contract which everyone agrees to follow when they become citizens.

At the same time DAVS will have to police itself. If a DAC is extremely controversial maybe DAVS would have to handle it differently. Also there could be vesting periods so that if a DAC does allocate 10% or 20% of shares to DAVS citizens these shares don’t get distributed all at once so that there can be no dumping.

This strategy also has a secondary hidden purpose. It creates stakeholders. Citizens of DAVS would be stakeholders in the DACs created by citizens of DAVS which is how you can bring everyone in the community together by the incentives. Everyone would win together or lose together because everyone would have something to lose if the DACs lose.

The vesting peroids are useful because you could for instance state that programmatically the DAC will eventually give 20% of itself to DAVS citizens but over a period of 5 years at a specific rate so that each month or each week some portion of shares is released and distributed by the smart contract.

This would be a slow release of assets to DAVS which would encourage long term commitment and citizenship to DAVS. You could even set it up so people who give more receive certain kinds of assets sooner.

(Maximo Ramallo) #26

I understand what you mean, but from now on you must ensure people here and on the project will be protected against sockpuppetry and “Earnest Voice” or anything like that from the US agencies and his affiliates. At least give me that level of security here by stating in the forum rules and the projects we don’t want them here, not anywhere.
If it helps and is where you concern is, I am an objector of the property laws myself, because as you know I know we need a reform on the patent system, the copyright, etc.

It all starts with the physical person, and the best way to have that is having identify the individual by the national identity system of their respective countries, or having a separate category of them in the system and mark them as an “inconclusive identification”.

I thought about it, a lot, and you need to secure the link between individuals to avoid astroturfing, but you are lucky, someone got ahead of me and they might be creating it already

OK, suppose that you ensure me this is going to be an open project, and you give me all the securities I ask, how do we start?


You asked how do we start, are you familiar with Ethereum? Are you familiar with programming languages such as Python, Javascript or C++?

When Ethereum launches if you’d like to contribute to the project you can create a smart contract which can act as part of the proof of concept. Ultimately it’s going to depend a lot on how robust Ethereum is for developers but ultimately contracts are like scripts which run on top of Ethereum.

DAVS has to be platform agnostic but it’s first home will be Ethereum. It should be able to communicate with different blockchains and protocols though. This means it has to be designed to be modular, extensible, and able to interpolate with the Internet of Blockchains, and other decentralized apps.

If you’ve got programming skills we are looking for developers to help write smart contracts. The overall design is currently being discussed in Facebook with my blog acting as a place to introduce new concepts which are design options or possible features. The main thing is that we want it to be a decentralized bottom up emergent design so it’s not so important to try to predict every possible interaction or evolution the software could take but more about making it as adaptable to change as possible.

DAVS has to be designed for adaptability because it has to survive any of the technological changes which come about.

Some points below can bring it all together:

DAVS is to be (open) because it must contain these properties

  • All source code must be open so that it can be audited and reviewed.
  • We should choose the languages which are simple for people to understand or which are widely used, comment our code to make it easier read, and try to encourage code reuse.
  • All participants should be able to help direct the evolution of the architecture and should be in control of their data.

DAVS is to be (decentralized) because it must contain these properties

  • Fault tolerant design
  • Disruption tolerant network design
  • Modular design
  • Compartmentalized for security where necessary, extensible design.

DAVS must be (autonomous) because it must contrain these properties

  • Anti-fragile
  • Self-adjusting
  • Self-emerging
  • Self-designing
  • Self-funding

Formally Wikipedia defines these concepts as autonomic computing:

Or it can be described as organic computing:

DAVS will not be fully autonomous in the sense of an AI running everything without participation from humans. In fact it will be up to the humans to determine how much AI or how much human control they want. Humans will be able to express their preferences, vote, in various ways to provide feedback to the system.

The mechanism that DAVS can use to achieve a semi-autonomous state is currently only theoretical. I think it can work and it does seem based on examples such as Bitshares that you can have a self funding mechanism, you can have consensus mechanisms. The concept I put forward is for “virtual evolutionary organizations” .

A virtual evolutionary organization is a self emergent design which uses AI to “evolve” from one architecture to the next or to optimize itself according to participant feedback. So the key for making software semi-autonomous is the feedback mechanism whether it be voting, collabrative filtering, learning conditional preference networks (for AI recommender systems), The point is you can have traditional democracy, but the architecture itself can learn from how you use it as well.

Most of this is theoratical and doing it in practice might not be so simple. On the other hand if you’re talking about a decentralized autonomous virtual state then you have to be very ambitious because of the nature of what it is. The design of it in my opinion is one of the most important aspects to get right so that even if we find we cannot build it as intended in the design at least if we can build a prototype or some proof of concept then maybe in the future someone can pick up the design and finish building it.

The other reason is that the design has to be future proof. If you look at Bitcoin that isn’t future proof at all. It’s a good design for currency but it’s not designed to be very good for a governance protocol because it doesn’t have democractic processes at all, you can’t vote, you can’t give the system feedback, it just runs.

At the same time it’s designed in a very top down traditional architecture with miners at the top generating coins, defending the network from a 51% attack. On the other hand what I’m asking we do is go with an emergent engineering approach as outlined in this paper:

Mainly because you cannot really plan the perfect design for something like this in a top down manner. As a distributed design it’s more resilient if it has no “top” to corrupt.

There is too much to put all my ideas in one post and I’m not as good at explaining as some others. So I encourage you to peer review anything I write about in my blog and any design ideas which you think are stupid please shoot it down.

(Maximo Ramallo) #28

That makes it interesting because you had worries on how fund the projects. Why would you need the money for? For infrastructure? For hiring professional programmers?
I would ask Radivis to create a wiki with links to any supported project, and you can start a wiki too Darklight.
As well, I would like either a wiki with information or links providing it.

If this is to be serious, we must have introduction to everything needed to support this and other projects. I remember a group I made time back on where we had links to instructional material on programming skills (and other topics), perhaps this can be drop in the wiki.
But I’ll await to see what Radivis think.


A wiki is a good idea but what should be put on the wiki? How can we use it?

Money is needed to hire programmers primarily and other developers. There may also need to be a security audit process so there might need to be bounties for that. Generally money is how you can bootstrap the process because if no one has the time to build the dang thing then we will just have a nice design with nothing of utility.

The way I was going to do it is each of us have our own blog. On our blog we should discuss our intentions, ideas, concepts, maybe put up some example code.

The wiki could be very helpful though.


It looks like the SEC just legalized crowd funding. There will be a 60 day waiting period for this to take effect but it might be possible for us to start equity crowd funding our projects and offer actual shares in corporations to American citizens.

(Mark Larkento) #31

offer actual shares in corporations
to American citizens.

Are you certain it’s limited to U.S. citizens?

(Michael Hrenka) #32

There is already the Social Future wiki and you are free to use it as you please. The reason why I haven’t proposed doing so already is that there’s a technical issue with the wiki that I haven’t been able to resolve, yet. But as long as you don’t put anything too mission critical on it, it should be a good tool for documenting the DAVS project.

I’m sorry that I haven’t been more active in this conversation. I’m quite fascinated by the DAVS project, but my current energy level and health is lousy. This is something that troubles me deeply, and it’s a great problem that is very difficult to deal with. I have to focus on dealing with ME/CFS rather than doing anything else, unfortunately :frowning:

(Ken Carroll) #33

Sorry - might have missed it…What’s the definition of a dirty business?

(Michael Hrenka) #34

You would need to ask @Maximo_Ramallo about that. He mentioned something like that at How can we raise the funds so that we can stop talking and start doing?

I don’t see a clear definition of a “dirty business”. Creating such a definition is something we probably need to do sooner or later. But at the moment I don’t see a pressing need for doing that. We might brainstorm such a definition in a separate thread, if there is any demand for that.

(Maximo Ramallo) #35

In my own opinion, slavery, usury (scams and such), and much of social engineering are dirty businesses.
Arms and drug dealing depends on who, what and why, because many libertarians can give you convincing opinions that these are not dirty business.

(Alan Grimes) #36

Hey, the idea I’m pushing here is to move forward with a project that I think can really take transhumanism to the next level. I see a critical synergy between three core pillars, each co-dependant. These are VR, AI, and neural interfacing. The end product is a VR environment that can be used for many purposes but most importantly for designing and test-driving your next body, and for sharing ideas in that regard. I think this idea is feasible because VR is just now taking off and that using that to leverage a platform for use in developing human-like AI and several variants therof, which can then be used to simulate and develop neural interfaces, which then completes the cycle by allowing your mind to literally inhabit a VR avatar, which then completes the circle.

The first step in making this happen is to seek funding. The project will require, conservatively, about a billion dollars, so the pitch must be a real knock-out from the start. So I propose a website to explain this idea to potential investors. But to get their attention, I want to do the website in 3D, make the pitch website itself be a 3D virtual reality… The technology to do this is available, but the tools are a bit rough, see . I’m in a pretty bad situation right now, but I still want to do this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I should also mention that the kiddies (12-18) have been watching this anime called “Sword Art Online” and are super hyped about a “full dive VR” system and created a forum, “nerv gear squad”,

So yeah, this can happen…

(Michael Hrenka) #37

Hi, Alan. Thanks for posting your ideas in the Fractal Future Forum! :smiley:

I like your approach to combine VR, AI, and neural interfacing (let’s call it NI for now). You seem to have a circular/spiral scheme in mind with VR -> AI -> NI -> VR+ -> …

However, I see that each of those technologies has the potential to accelerate the development in every other field:

  • General efficiency increase by using VR as improved work- and design environment
  • General efficiency by using AI as agents or assistants
  • General efficiency increase by using NI to interact better with technology of any kind

So, I have more of a triangular shape in mind, where each vertex supports each other vertex. But you are probably right that starting with VR is probably the easiest and most promising route to go.

  1. What’s the exact goal of this project?
  • How will it be profitable?
  • What kind of technology will it use?
  • What’s the targeted user base?
  • What kind of team should work on the core project?
  • Are other teams already working on similar projects?
  • How can PR backlashes like those that happened to Second Life be avoided?
  • How will it improve the world?

I’m asking these questions from the point of view of a potential investor. If you want to convince them, you need to learn how they think. I don’t claim to know how they think, since I’m merely imagining how I would think if I was a rich investor. Nevertheless, doing some research on the psychology of investors might be a worthwhile project in itself.

Raising funds is a generally difficult problem, but it’s a special case of selling an idea or product. The discipline which is concerned about selling things is called “marketing” – and we are aware that we actually need

But before you can sell your idea to investors, you should be able to at least convince fellow transhumanists that your idea is cool and worthwhile. Your current description of the project sounds good, but it feels too general to be actually engaging. I know that you’ve written some very fascinating stories, and I think that’s generally the right way to go to get people enthusiastic about futuristic projects. Not saying that you need to post a story in the F3, but writing more details about your ideas would make it clearer what you actually want to achieve with it. Why should people care about the idea?

Anyway, I’ve also been thinking about NI recently. I’d really like to read your thoughts about


(Macius Szczur) #38

By the way, this sounds like good topic for having a Hangout about :wink: (and one starts in half an hour).


(Alan Grimes) #39


The kinds of things I want from it for myself would probably be incomprehensible/distasteful to most people so I don’t tend to talk about them. That leads me to try to speak in generic terms to try to hook on to whatever it is that might motivate the reader. My muse does not take orders… I had been working on a writing project but it’s been stalled for two years. =\

How about u write something for a change?

Regardless, its good to have a two-way conversation about this. I really do think this could be a common ground for many types of transhumanists to collaborate on because these are the bedrock technologies behind just about any form of transhumanism I can think of.

(Michael Hrenka) #40

I see. Unfortunately, abstract and generic terms don’t really engage people on an emotional level. You might consider a different strategy, if you don’t want to talk about your own personal preferences. Talk about what kind of specific wishes and fantasies people usually have. It’s often what they dream about. Our dreams are our own private VR. Dreams can be “hacked” with special techniques. Ask @sandu, if you want to know more about the.

VR offers the possibility to experience the most interesting things you can do in dreams together with actual other persons. I guess when you phrase it like this, you can let the fantasy of the reader do the rest :smiley:

I’m currently working on the Netec 2045 sci-fi world. It’s mostly about a new economic and social order, but I guess I also need to include some impressive VR technology. :smile: I certainly want to write something about people seamlessly incorporating avatars in virtual worlds and the real world. If this is going to be popular, the sequel 2050 would probably show even fancier stuff like metamorphic avatars.

True, I’m glad you are sharing your thoughts with me on this forum. :smile:

You mean the VR / AI / NI trinity? Well, it would be beneficial for any kind of ambitious transhumanist project. But the same thing could be said about a better economic system. :gift: