Published in


Crypto Beyond Capitalism: Part 5

Trust, Time, and Coordinating Our Shared Future

Trust as Temporal Map

Courtesy of Scott McCloud’s excellent tour de force, Reinventing Comics
  • The average marriage lasts 10–15 years.
  • The average American lifespan is ~80 years.
  • The United States is pushing 250 years since its inception.
  • The origins of Western society trace back approximately 2,500 years.
  • Large scale civilizations date back at least 10,000 years.
  • Humanity itself is 300,000 years old.
  • Our primate ancestors entered the scene millions of years ago.

Temporal Resonance and Bio-Cultural Encoding

Benjamin Franklin’s favorite invention: the armonica. Watch it sing.

Temporal Dissonance and Decoherence Risk

Left: Consonant frequencies generating “harmonicity” in the auditory cortex. Right: Dissonant frequencies give rise to “inharmonic beating”.

Maintaining Coherence: Humanity’s Behavioral Immune System

A Yagi-Uda Antenna. The radio waves from each element are emitted with a phase delay, so that the individual waves emitted in the forward direction (up) are in phase, while the waves in the reverse direction are out of phase. Therefore, the forward waves add together, (constructive interference) enhancing the power in that direction, while the backward waves partially cancel each other (destructive interference), thereby reducing the power emitted in that direction.
  • Second, we encoded cultural values within mythological, religious, and philosophical narratives. Across millennia, these cultural mechanisms helped emerging human civilizations maintain their collective integrity by subtly shaping the behavioral possibility space of a given society’s individuals.

The Limits of Emergent Coordination

In Kenya, informal dispute resolution is nested inside the formal legal structures of the State, giving rise to a certain dissonance, or interference, between modes.
  • Second, and more recently, those embroiled in dispute may delegate the resolution of their conflict to a set of actors or rituals operating within a superordinate temporal map — or put slightly differently, they may delegate the resolution process to an actor or system acknowledged by both parties as holding legitimate authority over an encapsulating phenomenological frame. Let us call this strategy abstracted conflict.

Enforced Coherence: A Leaky Abstraction

Unto each, said the other: “meet your maker”.
  • It may generate a top-down force powerful enough to contain the decoherence risks associated with conflicts between individuals or groups nested within its boundaries.
  • It may experiment with novel combinations of the two previous options.

Trust, Encoded: The Game-Theoretic Warp-drive of Coherence

  • An information asymmetry favoring the person establishing the decision context.
  • A mechanism by which this information asymmetry may be known to logically (though not causally) influence the decider’s choice.
  • By introducing the capacity to cheaply communicate and guarantee — via reduced enforcement, transaction, and coordination costs — promises pertaining to future behavior, conditional upon observed reality.
  • By increasing visibility into the flow of value across temporal frames, allowing for novel economic gameplay to emerge upon the encoded trust layer, therefore extending both the resolution and temporally integrative capacity of our shared temporal maps.
  • By guaranteeing context-sensitive atomicity, in which we may guarantee sequences of intersubjectively-contingent economic behaviors to execute in their entirety, or not at all, thus reducing risk that otherwise compounds across iterated execution, as observers respond to actors who initiate sequences of economic gameplay based on the those observers’ own asymmetric information advantages.



Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Atatiana Jefferson, Tamir Rice, Bettie Jones, Botham Jean

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store