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blockchain but without the money


You can either:
(1) take a smart contract platform and remove the currency and financial applications. 
(2) take a smart contract platform and replace the native currency by a fully fiat backed collatoral. You keep the money, but at least the issuance is state-controlled.

What remains is a permissioned blockchain system (hyperledger, multichain) where you can still reach consensus on state. Multichain has a lot of great articles on this: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/03/blockchains-vs-centralized-databases/

Thanks, I appreciate the discussion. :)

> A high level of participation would change how spending and taxation happen.

Absolutely. Unfortunately many people don't see it's worth the effort, arguably very rationally so (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ignorance) and high participation often only comes from elites (https://stukroodvlees.nl/de-participatie-elite-en-de-participatieparadox/).

From the mechanism design corner, sortition (for voting, referenda, any political discussion) might help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition

Or we can all just decide to actively discuss and deliberate more: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7159287-when-the-people-speak

Thanks for your comment Noah!

Firstly, fully agree that wealth equality is a prerequisite to achieving efficiency. So much indeed that economists often optimize for both.

Some of the mechanisms from the article are actually not "budget-balanced", for example the much-hyped quadratic funding requires a matching fund - which can be raised through progressive taxation. Note that at this point the terms "private" and "public" break down a bit, in theory the taxes could be collected entirely through private coordination, without requiring a public government body, but that doesn't look like a realistic outcome anytime soon.

In practice, any system can be gamed, which is why tax professionals advocate for "lowering the rate - broadening the base". Translating this to public goods funding schemes, it might be worth replacing the 1:1 matching schemes of various governments by quadratic funding, but replacing the entire economic system would surely be naive indeed!

Great initiative! Slight nuance to Chris Leong 's earlier comment. Though I'm not an expert, I would just caution for standards-setting bodies hastingly standardizing a losing standard, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_Wars

Your encryption standards examples feel like a great comparison of the way to go

As someone not active in the field of AI risk, and having always used epistemic deference quite heavily, this feels very helpful. I hope it doesn't end up reducing society's efforts to stop AI from taking over the world some day.

I wrote down some thoughts on the trade-offs one encounters when balancing profitability and other values: https://victorsintnicolaas.com/articles/11.html

Very much interested in other material!

Thanks for your thoughts! 

it seems that in general more indirect democracy functions better due to the fact that voters have little incentive to cast informed votes, whereas representatives are incentivized to make informed decisions on voters behalf.

To let voters cast more informed votes, there's a whole movement around deliberation. You can argue that increases costs for voters, but I think the trade-off is unclear and likely context dependent.

The books are great pointers, will have a look at the research referenced!

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