FUTURE FOSSILS #80: Arthur Brock of Holochain on Rethinking Currency & The Future of Distributed Systems

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This episode’s guest is Arthur Brock, currency design expert and lead visionary behind the Holochain project – which just might be the basis for the truly free, encrypted, peer-to-peer, surveillance-resistant, voluntary, non-exploitative Web we’ve all been dreaming about since the 1990s.

Described by many as a “blockchain killer,” Holochain offers users an endlessly scalable and secure decentralized platform for our lives online, inspired by the fractal branching flows and emergent order we observe in nature.

You don’t have to be a cryptocurrency enthusiast or economics wonk to appreciate the smarts and wisdom that Art brings to his work – or to understand why he’s spent the last ten years teaching people about a new paradigm of currency and governance.

This is an introduction to a whole new way of thinking about what matters most to you – whatever that might be – as well as how Art and the Holochain team are working day and night to help us ditch the scarcity mindset, and to give us the tools for building a more human and generous society.

Holochain Website

Metacurrency Project Website

“Building Responsible Cryptocurrencies” by Arthur Brock

Quotes:

“I think one of my particular gifts is interfacing with complex systems, being able to find leverage points for changing those patterns…”

“Currencies are not just about money. That’s like a fingernail on the animal of currencies.”

“There’s two fundamental fallacies that blockchain is stuck in. The first one is that data exists, and the second one is that time exists.”

“There is no absolute time. To pretend that there is, is to create a fiction.”

We Discuss:

• Currencies as “current-sees,” ways to see, shape, and enable flows of value;

• How does nature use signaling systems to create evolutionary “current-sees” that can guide our thinking on currency design?

• Why most of the blockchain/cryptocurrencies space is thinking wrong about value and how to generate value in a thriving ecology.

• How to design money for stability, compared to the intense volatility of nearly all cryptocurrencies.

• Comparing Sean Esbjörn-Hargens’ “Metacapital Framework” to Art’s “Metacurrency Project” and how things shift when you shift your thinking from pools of resources to flows of resources.

• How our CONNECTIONS are actually deeper and more important realities than our BORDERS.

• How the transition to p2p money routing around banks is like the Protestant Reformation and its ensuing political chaos.

• The balance between centralized and decentralized systems – how does Art think the ecology of different organizational structures will ultimately shake out?

• How different system architectures encode completely different worldviews and ideas and how facts are made – and how assuming the independence of data we miss something vital.

• Art addresses Nathan Waters’ questions about whether Holochain can handle “fungible assets” – land rights, artworks, etc.

• Does time even exist?

• The mathematical inevitability of the Deep State.

• How capitalism is a Ponzi scheme and we’ll have to ditch it to survive.

• Why crypto needs to be at least as easy as the Web if it is going to ever work.

• And the future of real and symbolic value…

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