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The title is provocative, but certainly not arrogant in its intent. In my opinion, it is arrogant to say that the current socioeconomic paradigm is the best we can do as a species.

Thank you for the Upvote!

What’s the scenario where someone is able to ‘immorally’ hoard? In a connected system, aid org sends a truck full of beans to a known destination with a specific ETA. Each of the individual requests comprising the ‘community request’ would expect to be satisfied, increasing relevance for the aid org (as a provider of beans) and for the community (as a trusted source of requests). Truck doesn’t arrive, and you now have people on both ends of the route working toward the middle. There would be a gap in the accounting if one person absconded. Now, an expected level of loss is included in the shipment often. A well dressed and well connected individual comes along and promises a certain amount of cooperation in exchange for the job of distributing resources. All this ignores the presence of mobile phones and the ability of a connected citizenry to get what they need - when given the chance. So, out of fear of theft, the entire society is impacted by ‘paternal’ suspicion. 

When the evidence is clear that empowerment is the solution, there is no other conversation than “How do we do it?” I mean, you could ask how long it will take, and where do we start? But those are secondary and the when, is obviously disaster. Massive need, reduces restrictions and amount of  ‘convincing’. Incremental ‘authorized’ progress will never allow everyone to be free.

While baby steps may sound like good advice, what are we really talking about? Would you settle for not being told when supplies are en-route because an aid worker ‘didn’t want to get your hopes up’ ? There is no ‘provisional respect’ equivalent to sovereignty.

“Not getting hopes up” is standard operating procedure that would infuriate most people if they were actually in the room where that decision was made. It would cause emotional harm if that were part of one’s entire life. Not knowing where resources are going, and being trained to not expect accountability, is like putting a lid on a pressure cooker. Eventually every human does yearn to be free.

I am proposing a system that creates democratization by default, provides resource maps as a designed ‘side effect’, and completely transforms the last-mile logistics question. I ask that control over data be given up, in exchange for far richer and more detailed information that opens possibilities and improved situational perception. As another designed side-effect, peer support is acknowledged and facilitated because that’s where the vast majority of recovery happens.

For every hole poked into this plan, self-sovereign interaction still leads to the desired state.

Just to be clear, the only mechanism at work isn’t self reporting. Governance would have ample supply of things to investigate based on the absence of data. e.g. If a steady supply of beans is requested and then suddenly stops, it’s worth a look. If an individual is requesting 10x what their neighbors are, it is worth a look.

If the populace does not send requests to their own governance, that is worth a look by the international community! Undoubtedly, there will be a connection between low ‘responsiveness scores’ of governance and overall citizen trust.

Something else crisis creates that cannot be predicted is emergent leaders. Community in crisis pushes certain people to the foreground and they are rarely best at self promotion. See the pattern? Those with self promotion skills often get the contract but are often least likely to make it happen. In a facts-only based system, the person who waits in the rain for the truck and shares it without community complaint becomes highly relevant for community leadership.

Similarly in political life, the soap box grandstander who does not satisfy the To-Do list provided by community needs will quickly lose out to the humble public servants who work hard in every political system, but often languish invisibly.

Giving humans a means to use the technology in their palm for personal freedom, prosocial rewards, and an expectation of accountability, shouldn’t be a revolutionary idea, but apparently it is.

Many of us have been conditioned carefully to believe that the extant structures are the ‘best we’ve got’ and the result of long evolutionary processes. This is just untrue; especially in the human context. Nowhere is more humanizing than surviving a traumatic crisis event.

This project began as a way to prolong the period of benevolence that’s universally present post-event. As the line of inquiry self-unfolded, the singular question wasn’t if, but how, and which layer to target.

Refining a system to only be about what one Has and Needs, with open ended and unstructured categorization, puts the tasks in the appropriate places. By that I mean humans are excellent at deciding what’s similar with really ambiguous inputs. What they choose as a match for a need can be  considered as a ‘provisional synonym’ that is reinforced with repetition. Compute is excellent at remembering and disseminating information along a ruleset.

When humans in any locality express themselves through exchange it will include subjective equivalencies. If shopping patterns matter, people will happily spend time leafing through resources, choosing what suits them best. It’s perfect. People choose, compute repeats, with weights for various kinds of ‘relevancy’ and physical proximity.

Dissimilar groups that interact will have a means of exchange they define and no system architect can predict; so ‘why try it?’ was my reasoning. Allowing humans to interact means they will find a way, as we have always done. I don’t believe a well designed system needs to restrict behavior, just the ability to affect someone else. Putting each individual in control of their value exchange creates a localized social ruleset - or digital representation of culture. Fortunately, human interaction isn’t wildly random. There’s only a certain number of things on the planet that we use, and only in a few ways each.

This task is easily within the realm of tech to interface with the community a person contacts directly. The secret is to not overmanage the inputs, which traps you into design choices that are not appropriate to purpose. Another secret is not designing a physical social tool like an abstract ‘digital pool’. I am not proposing a means to share details with anonymous masses or to adhere to a certain currency. There are means for each that exist separately from one’s ‘real life’. I’m proposing a system for encapsulating a value exchange with rules to make the best choice possible. By only dealing in ‘exchanges’ creates an expectation that one’s selfhood is valuable even in a digital realm. This is revolutionary in the current paradigm and takes some adjusting to get used to, thanks to the prolific and persistent efforts of corporate entities keeping you unaware of your own digital value.

I genuinely appreciate the comments and also the notion that this proposal is naive. To many, it likely seems just too simplistic and too vast.

Is Facebook given the same ‘short shrift’ when they ‘offer’ internet to the masses ? We all know that partaking in Facebook’s version of the internet is not going to lead to an empowered populace. Yet, the ability of a protocol, in the form of a Wallet app is not only valid now, but within the hands of individual developers.

Holochain, Cardano, and Polkadot represent a sea-change in friction-free human interaction.

The presence of colonialist attitudes in the UN and the Big Aid organizations that vie for attention, is not a new idea. To quickly witness this,  review the training philosophies of institutions where these ‘decision makers’ were educated. If you attend the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative practice camps you will receive ridicule if you bring up the idea that citizens with phones are much more likely to know what they want and need. The ‘logic’ you are faced with, is that “humans can’t be trusted”.

It does have a certain kind of logic, from an entitled perspective. These same organizations conduct follow-up ’studies’ to see why their interventions didn’t work. Over and over. Meanwhile these same organizations recognize that resiliency and self-efficacy are intertwined. They call it a conundrum.. how will humans in need remain compliant with the decisions dropped from on-high? How can people remain dependent but be prosocial and self-motivated? It can’t happen.

Now that “verifiably unique” (blockchain) technology is easily available, the logical conclusion of self-efficacy is now able to be realized. Personal sovereignty is the only real answer to the global problem of how to  1. Understand what people want and have to offer, at-scale.  2. Make decisions as a community for their own reasons and  3. Connect the things people need and have to share.

Telling people what they need does not work long-term. Not asking people to participate in their own recovery is a sure recipe for dependency and it forces trust in governance structures that are not made for the protection and security of the individual. It is an inherently unbalanced and de-humanizing power relationship. When communities are easily able to combine needs and resources, the ‘selfish’ drive to have something encourages shared reporting because group needs are more likely to obtain response in a crisis. After crisis, everyone’s needs ARE different.

The Aid perspective is that ‘we can’t manage everyone’s needs’ let alone trying to deal with resources every human provides. Who will track and connect intangibles like ‘friendship’ or ‘minor’ things like pet-sitting?

We now have the ability to ensure that every input came from an individual.

This same environment would detect patterns related to trying to ‘game the system’ and the result of participating in a lie (easily verified on-chain) would attribute that user a “high relevancy for lying” on-chain - which is sure to be one of the top filters used to exclude having any interaction with that person. This ‘slashing’ respects the human aspect of community interactions. These are people interacting in a physical location. It is very different than being a ‘transaction ID’ in a banking app. But it is critical to examine who will store and manage all these details. As soon as a centralized location is chosen, every participant loses their ability for “self-control” and is subject to the policies and data-use decided by the centralized “service” whether it’s Oxfam or UNOCHA.

The only equitable way to track everything a person does is to let them track themselves. When the individual is able to control what aspects of their life are public, it creates a hugely unsettled feeling for some. Giving up control over the ‘less fortunate’ exposes the shortcomings of our scarcity economy that has given rise to all sorts of mistaken assumptions about human nature.

When anyone says “You can’t do that” isn’t it really because they haven’t imagined a way for it to work yet?

I can leave it at the statistic of how many aid workers with clipboards can collect a representative sample -vs- how many people on earth have a mobile phone, or can get to one within an hour’s walk. My hypothesis is that the mass of humanity is better able to describe what they need and have to offer, than an army of underfunded charities, whose real forte is logistics. This fact is colliding with outdated bureaucratic systems that ~somehow~ keep resulting in citizen disempowerment proportional to the wealth of leadership.

My proposal to this group is that nothing will ever work as well as asking people what they need and assisting their impulse to share talent, skill, and aspirations , to reinforce the actual networks required for thriving in any situation.

For Bona fides, I can describe the settings like HHI where I’ve witnessed the problems being born, I can describe my experiences around the world that specifically expose the disconnect between digital capability and the global aid organizational structure. I have also watched closely from ‘inside the castle’ (IBM) how the lifeblood of human existence is squeezed digitally by an industry that has no care for ‘human’ qualities.

Hi Blaine. Interesting idea, but it is still basically asking permission to exist in ‘their’ world. You don’t seem taken with crypto technology, but it is here, spreading faster than a fungus and enabling real world experiments in friction free and completely malleable value exchange. It’s pretty exciting.

To me, the ability to be verifiably unique changes the equation Completely. It is within grasp for us to create a mechanism that ensures complete and total human sovereignty - as the basic framework. From that moment forward, the systems more or less build themselves and everything can grow.

From governance and democratization, to market forces and invasive data harvesting, the landscape shifts 180º when everything is responding to ‘user needs’ directly.  It is also the most efficient way to provide ‘aid’ of any kind and to self organize in any situation with 100% regionally appropriate responses.

A ‘parallel universe’ becomes instantly available that can interact everywhere but under the sole control of you, on ‘your’ chain.

There is no other way, and everything else can’t be fixed. But it’s definitely not a matter of permission anymore.