ian grigg

ian grigg.png

intro’d to Ian via this convo w Vinay (march 2018).. esp intrigued when he got to the convo ness as base

“Listen as @leashless and @iang_fc have a fascinating talk about social structures of agreements, trust and dispute resolution, and the way Ricardian systems can be created to support it.” https://t.co/iQRcAtuALu https://t.co/3BruM8Tban

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/eosnewyork/status/981166987161284608


8 min – if you come to them w a forum that works they’re quite happy to adopt it because they know the existing forum isn’t for them..

why we need an alt.. a nother way to live.. deep/simple/open enough that 7 bn people could leap to.. because.. if it was truly deep enough.. they/we would leap

we found easy in comparison to west.. selling western communities on arbitration is a hard one.. they think courts will protect them.. can’t possibly be true.. because when go to court one has to lose and one win.. so everybody can’t be protected… the larger the country gets the more the belief in their own legal system..

12 min – v: because it’s binding to an already living system.. this is a critical thing..t.. in a western business context.. no underlying living system.. that is transacting before contracts are in place.. generally people are agreeing there’s going to be a deal.. but stuff’s not happening till the paperwork is done.. and our lawyers generally enforce that pretty strictly..

13 min – yes.. if you’re in that frame of mind

good phrase..

13 min – v: so the notion is the software is fitted to the paperwork and the paperwork if fitted to the business process.. but none of it really interacts w any kind of fundamental social structure..

that is one of the key things.. to make this work properly.. you have to start from the community aspect.. or more precisely.. have to start from the communication aspect..t.. so the starting point for *this process is not digital cash .. it’s actually digital chat.. in the sense that you want to build your community around messaging

and so.. if you’re true to starting there (and assuming we could get people in the frame of mind of not cope\ing).. would you be willing to let go of the business/market/money/security/id/whatever *piece ..if the convos don’t ask for it..?

14 min – and on top of that you build your digital cash/asset system..t

yeah that.. would you let go of that..?

because if deep enough.. cash/asset becomes irrelevant

v: cash flowing in the communication channel

well idea has been a round a long time.. i wrote about it in 2000

15 min – skip was sold to ebay.. for that purpose.. ebay were having trouble w paper.. skype was the word.. security..  so if secure messaging.. how hard to put cash into that.. which they didn’t do

v: which leaves wide open space

why.. must we cash it..?

16 min – v: this all seems it’s circling around to something.. which is of course.. identity..  how do you know who’s how inside of these systems

identity ness

ps in the open

it turns out that one’s a solved issue..  the community knows everybody.. when you form a chama.. you only form it with people you know very well.. so the community has id already wrapped up.. the only thing they’ve got to do is record it.. in some fashion..  now turns out to be pretty trivial in kenya

17 min – can’t take id outside of chama.. but can capture info about who was there and make a summary report.. and chama itself can become an authority

imagine if we need no authority.. we just trust the convo ( 2 convos) and trust us.. to io dance

ps in the open

the problem.. or the desire.. esp that people in west have about id.. is they want to go to some institution.. like govt/corp.. and present some thing that suddenly makes it all good

18 min – but actually that doesn’t really measure up *in terms of risk analysis.. document has become an expectation but not actually delivering the trust/cause that you want

*not to mention the process makes us not us..

19 min – so the issue is not the id.. the issue is .. how do i get recourse for something going wrong.. t.. so.. the chama becomes the id/back-up/credential(via vinay.. the name space.. like they did in villages)

imagine something going wrong as irrelevant (approaching zero.. as chama ness gets ginorm/small )

let’s try gershenfeld sel

20 min – so.. if you know i’m from this chama.. you don’t even need to know my name

v: and chama has these assets.. so.. skin in the game

21 min – and now we’ve got people, assets, evidence..

v: matthew schutte on discretionary enforcement: 2 ways to punish people who misbehave 1\ take their stuff  2\ not give them more stuff in future.. and he’s got this whole model that works at village level.. but doesn’t scale because we don’t have the right machinery.. he thinks holochain is that machinery.. i have my doubts but i think his analysis is very strong..

whoa.. bag all that punishment and use blockchain/holochain to facil us


22 min – right.. and a whole lot of stuff actually does work inside the village and then stops working outside the village..(v: dunbar) .. exactly that’s why chama is that number.. because they’re limited by dunbar number

so.. let’s go for ginorm/small villages/dunbars..

v: and that’s a universal thing.. who’s in your good books and who’s in your bad books

imagine only good books.. dunbar capabilities go into another dimension

now i start to behave because it’s my chama.. the amount of skin in the game that i have when i rep myself from coming from my chama is very high

imaging ‘behaving’ as irrelevant.. if people are truly free..

skin in the game.. at the most ginorm/small level

v: so transition from no trust society to high trust society using crypto.. which would what double the efficiency of the econ system..

23 min – it would add % points to the economy .. just like m pesa did.. previous was unreliable because it was cash by informal transport.. the only reason it worked was because drivers were owned by chama’s  .. so driver was rep ing the chama.. in carrying the envelop

? again.. we’re assuming transport/exchange of money is a given

m pesa

24 min – v: so chama was always there.. so taking existing social structure.. reenforcing structures w crypto so the internal credentials can be used externally


yes.. that’s the solution

v: let me run over that again.. because that’s very complex new thinking..


v: so.. internal trust structures.. at 30 person scale.. which are already handling funds on behalf of their members.. add a digital credentialing system.. which takes pre existing trust structure and makes it easy to extend the trust in a geographical sense..

25 min – that enables commerce.. can deal w people on other side of country w/o having met them before

so.. imagine again that at ginorm small scale.. ie: 7 bn free people so.. can trust every person w/o having met them before..

v: and to ricardian principle.. more advantage to trading w people not like you.. your people all doing ie: rice..

26 min – on micro finance.. if you go in w rich white capital and inject rich white capital models.. they don’t work.. if you try and flatten the local people into your way of thinking.. on paper it worked.. sitting in boston/sv.. but go there and they say.. well.. i’m going to just take the money.. so the big thing that happened to micro finance is it slid into loan sharking.. because once too many involved.. somebody is going to rise up and start abusing the system

well.. that’s a symptom.. of .. having one as os.. i don’t think it has to do with number of people..

because came from west w reliability bars to africa.. where reliability/trust slips down


29 min – v: (on difficulty in scaling across because of language across barriers).. take a word like owe.. the underlying cultural constructs are so diff

oy.. yeah.. with things having to do with our manufactured self.. ie: money/market

v: so you’re taking crypto and wrapping it around a cultural construct..

again.. let’s go deeper.. ginorm/small level.. what’s the cultural construct of each person.. what’s their curiosity.. let’s build the convo around that.. and facil that

30 min – the thing that struct me.. there are many diff chamas.. a million or so.. 300 000 that are registered.. rest are unstructured.. we’d call them hobby clubs.. so therefore.. talking about 1 mn assets.. so 1 mn ricardian contracts

again.. let’s go deeper.. ginorm/small level.. let’s go for 7bn.. everyday..

as it could be

31 min – v: on this being diff than bitcoin.. here.. almost all the infra is based on already existing social infra.. *adding enough crypto that existing social structure becomes more effective..t

yeah that.. deeper.. let’s base all the infra on what is already in all 7bn of us.. i’m betting you find all the paperwork and trust issues and money exchanges.. and bad actors.. and whatever.. become irrelevant

*2 convos .. as infra..

as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

37 min – when arbitration in .. people had consequences.. so behaved better

cool.. but there’s a better way.. ie: give everyone something else to do..

we also came down to the nature of the certificate.. what it basically said was .. not who you are.. well it said that but that wasn’t the important part.. what it said was.. this person is a member of.. and therefore..

v: so to indicate a chain of accoutnability

39 min – yes.. so that lifted us.. and now we apply that to chamas.. just haven’t had way to export that.. people were saying put the identity in there and we said no .. put the accountability in there

i’m saying we need neither if people are truly free.. ie: i’ve seen first hand how accountability compromises us.. we end up playing the game to appear accountable..

40 min – they’re all looking around at the id saying.. we have to make it bigger, smarter, better.. but that’s not the problem.. the problem is.. what happens when it goes wrong..

no.. the problem is.. people aren’t alive/themselves..  if you’re talking risk analysis.. eudaimoniative surplus would approach the limit of zero



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fighting for the user, issuing her assets since 1995. Assets are soft, users are hard. The issue isn’t the asset, the issue is you.

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Ian is mattereum’s chief scientist