Amir Taaki: Using Technology to Reconstruct the Social Moral Fabric
- Developed the first alternative bitcoin implementation
- First UK Bitcoin exchange
- Worked on Dark Wallet & Dark Market projects leading to open bazaar
- Join the YPG in Syria
- Is now Based in Barcelona
Is there a central problem that drives your actions?
- The main issue in society today is a social problem not an economic one.
- There is a fundamental lack of meaning in life
- We are participants in a giant machine
Isn’t this the price we pay for specialization, the tool that has enabled human civilization to prosper?
- Yes, there is a system of subdivision of human labor into specializations.
- At the same time we have a sense of nihilism, apathy & selfishness.
- An aspect of society has been lost
- We have reduced everything to what can be measured
- We need to bring back something ancient within ourselves
So you are saying that we have lost part of our humanity to our means of production . . .
- Yes, some would argue that the ability to meaningfully change your environment is lower that ever
- We generally lack autonomy
- Freedom from responsibility is the absence of true freedom
- Today we over value growth
- In the past people used to read Dostoyevsky for enjoyment. Today the most popular fiction is about a boy on a broomstick
- There is no sense of applying ourselves to a work that extends beyond our lifetimes
How do we remedy the situation? Can you suggest a grand goal?
- We have to think about what is the purpose of society
- To birth a higher type of human being
- There used to be an ideal of the renaissance man, a well rounded capable person
- We need to change our view of humans from being an incentivised cog in the machine
How does the movement that has rallied around blockchain compare to this?
- Technology is a power of shaping the world around us
- It is up to us to employ technology for sociological change
- We need to take this technology to arm people to realise a new societal paradigm
Your description has violent themes in opposition to the culture here (the Devcon 4 conference) which seems to be focussed on building rather than fighting.
- Behind the rhetoric there is a world that is seeing a rise of right wing dictator like figures and religious fundamentalism.
- There is also a large amount of human suffering
- This technology will not be a technology of liberation for the west
- Just like happened with Marx, where people took his ideas from the west and used them to reshape their societies, we will see these technologies applied to developing nations.
- People led through desperation to make active use of these technologies
What technologies do you mean specifically
- Technologies for social organization
- Making decisions
- Sharing information
- Collaborating on projects
- Financial and economic activity
- Culture and education
These are not technologies, they are areas where technology might have an impact
- They are the main areas of human society
- Self defence
- We need to find a way to tough these areas with technology
These are realms of human coordination. Why is technology now being applied to these problems?
- A lot of cryptography was developed in the 8-0s and 90s but did not make their way into public consciousness
- Bitcoin managed to being them to libertarians and open software developers
- It was a form of uncontrollable peer to peer money
- This got people thinking about bigger implications
- This brought people to deeper technologies and looked for way to recombine fields of research that had never been applied to the real world
- The real value is less in blockchain, it is the large volume of young people who want to change the world
- The most important objective is to have a vision of where we want to go and to use these pieces to get there
So where do we want to go?
- The most important problem is increasing public participation
- Reconstructing the moral fabric of society
How can a technology reconstruct a moral fabric?
- Technology by itself cannot change people’s mentality
- It can be a powerful tool to enable movements that want to change things
- The Kurdish people want to create a new societal paradigm based on direct democracy and individual empowerment
- Developing technologies that enable social coordination