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Archive for the ‘governance’ category

Jul 27, 2017

Floating City Project Wants To Make An ‘Unregulated’ Hub Of Scientific Research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, engineering, food, governance, law, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, sustainability

In the hopes of rising above the laws and regulations of terrestrial nations, a group of Silicon Valley millionaires has bold plans to build a floating city in Tahiti, French Polynesia. It sounds like the start of a sci-fi dystopia (in fact, this is the basic premise behind the video game Bioshock), but the brains behind the project say their techno-libertarian community could become a paradise for technological entrepreneurship and scientific innovation.

The Seasteading Institute was set up in 2008 by billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel and software engineer, poker player, and political economic theorist Patri Friedman. Both ardent libertarians, their wide-eyed mission is to “establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems.”

“Seasteading will create unique opportunities for aquaculture, vertical farming, and scientific and engineering research into ecology, wave energy, medicine, nanotechnology, computer science, marine structures, biofuels, etc,” their website reads.

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Jul 19, 2017

A Brief History of Free Money — By Matthew Heimer | Fortune

Posted by in categories: economics, governance


“[T]he idea is hardly new: In fact, it has resurfaced repeatedly over the centuries at times of economic transformation, winning allies across the ideological spectrum.”

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Jul 1, 2017

Misunderstanding Terrorism — With Marc Sageman | Radio Cafe

Posted by in categories: big data, counterterrorism, governance, government, information science, policy, terrorism

There is a radio edit (about one half hour) and an unabridged version (about one hour long).

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Jun 28, 2017

World Economic Forum blockchain report calls for ‘multi-stakeholder collaboration’ — By Ian Allison | International Business Times

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, governance, policy

“A report outlining how blockchain technology will usher in a new era of the internet has been published by the World Economic Forum at its 11th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, taking place on 27–29 June in Dalian, People’s Republic of China.”

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Jun 15, 2017

First digital signature between ESA and Estonia on ICT collaboration for space

Posted by in categories: governance, space

As part of of ESA’s 268th council on 13 June, Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of the Republic of Estonia, and Jan Woerner, ESA Director General, digitally signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Information and Communications Technology collaboration. It is the first digital signature performed at ESA.

“I am happy to see that the digital signature has found its way to the European Space Agency,” noted Ms Palo. “I and every other Estonian use it on a daily basis, saving up to five working days per year by this solution.”

“Estonia is proud to share its experience in digital management and e-governance with ESA and to contribute with this strength to the evolution of the European Space 4.0 endeavour. The next step would be to take e-state solutions to space and be part of the development of the Moon Village.”

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Jun 9, 2017

Startup Societies Summit: A Decentralized Governance Trade Show

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, defense, economics, futurism, geopolitics, governance, government

Lifeboat Foundation readers are aware that the world has become progressively more chaotic. Part of the danger comes from centralized points of failure. While large institutions can bear great stress, they also cause more harm when they fail. Because there are so few pillars, if one collapses, the whole system is destroyed.

For instance, prior to the federal reserve system, bank runs we extremely common. However, since the financial system consisted of small, competing institutions, failure was confined to deficient banks. So while failure was frequent, it was less impactful and systemic. In contrast, after the establishment of the federal reserve, banks became fewer and larger. Failures, while more infrequent, were large scale catastrophes when they occurred. They affected the whole economy and had longer impact.

This is even more important in political systems, which are the foundation of how a society operates. In order to have a more robust, antifragile social order, systems must be decentralized. Rather than a monopolistic, static political order, there must be a series of decentralized experiments. While failures are inevitable, it can be localized to these small experiments rather than the whole structure.

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Jun 5, 2017

BITNATION: Governance 2.0

Posted by in categories: governance, security

Bitnation provides the same services traditional governments provides, from dispute resolution and insurance to security and much more.

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May 31, 2017

The Future of Governance is not Governments

Posted by in categories: governance, government

Living systems on every scale have governance — methods of self-regulation to manage the coherence and continuity of the system. Also, for steering toward goals or away from dangers.

This governance is not the same as a government. Government as we know it is a blunt instrument designed to enforce the will of the many over the few (although at this point it enforces the will of few on the many) It is a monolithic bureaucracy. And frankly, it isn’t very good at governance, at least not as defined in the first paragraph.

Notice that governance includes both conserving continuity and making progress. All living systems have this tension between being conservative and progressive.

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May 2, 2017

Why Silicon Valley Can’t “Disruptively” Vote Its Way To Digital Immortality

Posted by in categories: existential risks, governance, life extension, lifeboat, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

You’ve probably heard about billionaires’ Plan B for when the end of the world comes, much of it centering around property in New Zealand. It’s not exactly a bad plan as far as doomsday prepping goes; buy a nice bunker somewhere in Middle Earth and wait out the chaos in luxury on one of two fairly isolated islands. Now, you may have noticed that front and center for such planning is Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump backer Peter Thiel of the pay-to-sue-Gawker-into-oblivion fame to the public at large, and ultra-libertarian venture capitalist with some crazy ideas about the future to the techies who know him. His backing of seasteading and support for Trump just because he got bored with Obama, are but a warmup to what he really has in mind for the future: immortality as a sentient super-AI.

No, you didn’t read that wrong, and no, this is not hyperbole. In fact, yours truly was once invited to an event where Thiel was a featured speaker after a rather public spat with the president of the Singularity Institute. I did not take up the offer because I had to be in class to learn how to build actual AI systems. And for full disclosure, I was invited to join an advisory board for a group of futurists called The Lifeboat Foundation, but like Groucho Marx, I didn’t want to be involved in a club that would accept someone like me as a member, much less as an advisor based on little more than me being a grad student at the time. So Thiel’s involvement with a group of futurists and an occasional computer scientist who thinks we’re on the verge of something a lot like the plot of Transcendence, is extremely well known in tech.

In fact, the belief that at some point, artificial intelligence and the march of technology will create a singularity that will alter humanity forever, has an alarming number of adherents in Silicon Valley. The face of the Singularity today, Ray Kurzweil, works at Google and runs Singularity University where it’s preached thanks to a multimillion commitment from his employer. And the fact that this belief is so popular in the world’s biggest tech hub isn’t all that surprising if we consider its followers. They’re told that their code and the technology they’re developing is changing the world, or they’re devoted followers of popular science news ready for the incredible future promised to us by the glossy magazines and sci-fi movies to arrive. To be told that by 2035 or 2045 we may become immortal through technology is appealing to say the least, and empowering for those who think they can help.

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May 1, 2017

This Transhumanist Politician Wants to be Governor of California

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, geopolitics, governance, life extension, robotics/AI, transhumanism

A nice new write-up on my governor run: https://humanityplus.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/this-transhuma…alifornia/ #transhumanism


It’s a good time to be a transhumanist politician. As faith in the political establishment declines, new technologies, from gene editing to artificial intelligence, are transforming our lives faster than ever. The transhumanist author and politician Zoltan Istvan agrees. He thinks the time is ripe for pro-science and technology governance, and for leaders who will embrace the technologies that could fundamentally transform our conceptions of what it means to be human.

Istvan is a maverick who appears to thrive in an ‘outsider’ role. He self-published a sci-fi novel, The Transhumanist Wager, in 2013, which became a surprise bestseller on Amazon. In 2016, he made an unlikely run for US president as the leader of the Transhumanist Party. Now, he’s making a bid for Governor of California in the 2018 election under a Libertarian Party ticket.

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