Quite some time ago, I pretty much decided to drop out of/avoid the Aragon ecosystem. Instead of just disappearing, and on request from an interaction at Web3, I’m going to take a little time to explain why publicly! I feel the primary driver for this is due to the organisational design patterns inherited from an industrial era mindset.
So, before I carry on I’d like to note that this extends to the larger blockchain world; the dreams are nice but most approaches are not grounded in reality. Simplistically reduced; things are not sequential, normative and consensus orientated. These are patterns that I consider to be top-down and feel are deeply neurotic.
organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. - Wikipedia
In other words: we build tools in the making of our world view, which then go on to shape our world view in an infinite feedback loop… which I can see this actively unfolding in the Aragon/Blockchain ecosystem, if manifested this is actually a pretty scary path!
• Permissions. Unfortunately this is repeating the internets biggest fuck up - by not paying attention, unintended consequences created an association where the subject (identity) was made primary and object secondary. This resulted permissions; a top down internet architecture that wasted trillions of admin hours and dollars… not to mention Identity capture by the big four. Capabilities on the other hand (which are roughly the same association just in reverse) were invented by Xerox Parc in the 70’s… but a governance war between the creatives there and the money people at Xerox (essentially a different department) blocked the deployment - to the US gov no less. Just Imagine that; a bottom up US gov!! Remember Snowden talking about bearer tokens at Web3? Thats a capability design pattern.
• Consensus. In relation to most governance, this is an anti-pattern - it assumes consent and prioritises normative behaviour. The second order effects is that this creates an asymetric risk due to a reduction in divergent thought. Same thing goes for the notion of DAO’s… They are typically prescriptive and the future is unpredictable, this is why Moloch is proving popular. However “rage quitting” a DAO is the same as quitting an organisation and still provides no mechanism to integrate and evolve. It’s zero sum rather than positive sum. We need to think more positive sum.
• I mentioned Aracon earlier because it was also emblematic of the above framed top-down thinking; it was people elevated on a stage telling you about a product and what to think about it - there was one room and minimal participatory activity.
The solution to the underlying cause of these symptoms is mindset change, which is not an easy perturbation but a necessary one. Have a listen to this interview if you wish to gain further perspective. Holochain appear to be following these patterns at the moment, so perhaps a good alternative to Parity if your going for faster distributed tech.
I’ll probably drop off the radar now though so if anyone wants to come find me please feel welcome to reach out