The Trust machine
I started thinking about the huge positive impact that such a technology could have on society.
In order to transform wandering ideas into "marching orders", I needed a framework. Slowly, I realized that the lens through which I was looking at humans and society was tainted. Long dissatisfied with the economic analysis, I wasn't sufficiently proficient in much else. The growing presence and the stimulating influence of the blockchain pushed me to read more and gradually discover sociology.
Sociology includes economy
It can be said that the past century saw the rise and fall of economy as a scientific discipline. Among social sciences, economy, rightly dubbed "the dismal science", came to dominate the political discourse. In the last 3 decades, probably nothing has imprinted so well our collective vision of what matters than the 1992 Clinton campaign phrase "It's the economy, stupid!".
But is it?
As far as I am aware "The Economist" is still the best magazine in the world. There is a Nobel prize in Economic Sciences but no equivalent for Sociology or more broadly Social Sciences. Yet Ronald Coase was blindsided and ultimately plain wrong. As most if not all economists, the 1991 recipient of the Nobel prize only focuses on "efficient allocation of resources", "transaction costs", "bargaining versus litigation", and "Pareto optimal outcomes".
The most important part of what makes us humans is left aside, ignored as if it didn't exist although it's there in plain sight.
We care for our kin, we care for our fellows. We are social animals. "Pareto optimal outcomes" and "efficient resource allocation" do not make us happy. Our bonds to friends and family do.
That doesn't imply a dichotomy, quite the contrary. The economic dimension is an integral part of what it means to be human, and I would even say that in a world where resources are constrained, it is the biggest part.
Yet it doesn't justify ignoring all the other dimensions of humanity.
Furthermore, I am not the only one to believe that we are headed toward abundance and as we accelerate, the prominence of economics among social sciences will decrease.
Happiness is best when shared
Human happiness is of course an elusive, philosophical concept. Most people agree that factors such as material prosperity, renown and admiration, success in personal endeavours contribute at least in part to happiness.
Search Google images with the word "happiness" and most results show just one person, being "happy" all by herself.
Yet all scientific studies agree that being alone, loneliness, is one of the biggest causes of ... unhappiness! The "Harvard Study of Adult Development" has recently revealed that strength and quality of relationships were closely correlated to long, healthy and happy lives.
Jean-Paul Sartre famously said “L'enfer, c'est les autres" (Hell is other people).
The interesting corollary to that profound insight is that “Paradise is other people” as well. Just as there is nothing worse than frustrating relationships with the others, there is nothing more fulfilling than satisfactory interactions with other humans.
Witnessing altruistic caring and devotion used to bring tears to our eyes but so did, to some extent, a wonderful (paid) meal in a restaurant or that smell of fresh wood upon entering our newly acquired house.
Happiness was, is and will always be backed by someone else’s decision to do (or refrain from doing) something for us or for those we most care about.
And part of that effort of doing (or refraining from doing) has traditionally been measured and paid for with money.
Yet money is mono-dimensional and too rudimentary a tool to capture the full wealth of human interactions. We knew that all along, but lately have chosen to ignore it as the economists and libertarian philosophers brought us to focus on the individual.
Ressolid: Making others Happy Again
Lately, globalization has been a great corroder of human bonds. The new, globalized world has swept away the tight-knit communities of yore and enticed us to multiply shallow interactions across the new communication lines.
With only a limited ability to connect to others, we stretched thin our intrinsic ability to nurture and maintain meaningful relationships and experienced trouble in getting our priorities straight.
Presented with a choice, some people chose to break with their real-life friends who did not share their positions and instead congregate on Facebook or elsewhere with unknown avatars who were echoing their opinions.
We used to care for those next to us, and try to make them happy with efforts big or small; and used to be grateful to those who were showing they care about us through sometimes small and sometimes big efforts.
Humans have performed “happiness generating” acts all along human history. Some of those acts were mediated through money. Some others were not but instead were the result of altruism, whether of the “genetically backed” (directed towards one’s kin) or the “pure” sort (directed towards a random fellow human being).
The Ressolid project aims to employ an innovative technological platform to repair and enhance the fabric of trust between the members of a host community. This fabric should facilitate meaningful interactions among members and strengthen the bonds that bind the community together.
Ressolid aims to increase the community resilience by incentivizing desirable behaviours. While putting social aspects at its core, Ressolid naturally includes economic aspects. It strives to increase the prosperity by making economic and rational "transactions" which would otherwise not be so.
What comes next?
The project started in the summer of 2017 and involved a number of people equally intrigued by the potential of the blockchain technology to positively influence our societies. Among those who contributed ideas and worked to advance it were Laura Oudrar, Gregory Waszniewski-Dumont, Gilles Hocepied and others. Then the initial team dissolved and the project ebbed.
Recently, thanks to @lishu, Ressolid sprang back to life. Expect more!
Other posts on blockchain technology that you might enjoy:
- Blockchain revolution: the CIOs' dilemma
- Blockchain and the End of the Western Civilization
- Toward a pan-EU blockchain infrastructure
- Sovereign identity on blockchain
- Blockchain revolution: Money and Credit
- The Holy Blockchain
- Blockchain, Credentials and Connected Learning Conference
- Decentralized Learning: The Future of Student Mobility in Europe
- Poker Champion Tony G turns MEP Blockchain Champion!
Other posts on the impact cryptocurrencies are likely to have on our societies:
- The Church of Bitcoin
- Hack Your Life in 3 Easy Steps!
- Small worlds
- Steemit and the Fractal Society
- The Press needs to be Freed from the Tyranny of Money
- Steem $10Bln!
- A New Hope
- Immigrate to Romania!
- Ons Stad liewen
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