Introducing Jaycen Horton
What inspired you to want to work on reversing climate change?
My interest in reversing climate change was born beyond the obvious direct effects which climate change invokes (such as temperature and sea level rises) and deals more with the indirect problems like refugee displacement, unequal capacities of certain populations to adapt, and economic catastrophes which are kinder if we avoid them than if we have to recover from them.
Why did you join Nori?
During the first couple months of 2017, Paul Gambill and I participated in a hackathon revolving around using the Ethereum blockchain to create a decentralized application and token which could be used to directly incentivize climate change reversal.
Who do you think should be reading this blog post, and why?
Anyone wanting to evolve the blockchain space beyond crowdfunding campaigns and remittance networks and into something with direct social impact.
What is the biggest misconception that you think people have about reversing climate change?
I believe that many people are still in a mind set of reduction rather than reversal, either because there is sparse information or because programs which promote reduction versus reversal are more well-known.
What gets you excited about blockchain?
The internet of information gave the world a new superpower: the ability to communicate, transact, and express true human emotion over a new digital frontier in blatant disregard against the notion of geographic barriers. Unfortunately, at its dawn, the world depended on archaic and opaque centralized business models, not necessarily to any one party’s fault, but because people had never experienced the power of collaborative and transparent creation. The entire world built and participated in a self prescribed prisoner’s dilemma requiring each participant to operate on economics of cupidity revolving around the individual.
As the world leaps onward into the future, humankind’s reliances on this technology grows and it has begun escaping the digital bounds in which it was born and into our physical lives by means of pragmatic and personal influences. In addition, the infrastructure which we must now rely on has become consolidated to a mere handful of parties in data silos which can be employed for profit. Simply, we forfeit our intelligence, data, and personal information in order to access an application. Such applications inevitably double down and use our admittance fee (our data) to limit access by way of advertisements, sponsored material dilution, or whatever else. This is likely not because the provider who serves the application is evil, or have some devious agenda, but because this is simply how the incentives work. But the world has built a dependency; it will not stop its consumption. The world will continue to use a provider’s application and providers will continue to monetize that access. The world, including the providers, are prisoners. We are not held by threat, but by a fistful of cash obeying broken economics.
The blockchain effectively is the first purely peer to peer construct which recognizes the faults of this design and, rather than prescribing nullifications or regurgitating economics which employ disincentivizing malicious behavior, it invokes guaranteed transparency, and disproportionally incentivizes honest cooperation. It is merely a protocol, which while technological by default, can transcend into the physical world just as the technology we rely on daily has done before. However, it is different in that is inscribed with a rule set which necessarily eliminates human trust, central reliances, and which handles the adversarial dilemmas of the world so that the world can begin to build truly remarkable things without the imprisoning side effects.
A blockchain, like any other technology, does not inherently propose any of these things, it is simply a collection of building blocks with pre-baked incentives. However, I believe Nori can be one of the first to truly cast light on the power of decentralized tech.
What kinds of problems do you like to solve?
I like to solve problems that have direct social impact. However, as a technologist, I have to think about impact from a resolution causation point of view. In that, I have to think about what types of technologies can spark resolution, rather than being able to physically intervene and resolve it myself. So, I build tools on top protocols which favor digital-to-physical overflow in that direction. Typically, this means building on distributed and decentralized networks, and building purely peer to peer or autonomous applications.
What previous experiences did you have that will inform your work at Nori?
I grew up in a technology startup environment and have been working with technology since I could see a monitor whilst sitting in a chair. In the past I studied for my M.S. in Software engineering, worked as an information security engineer, a software engineer, built a couple of technology companies, and have been inside the blockchain space in some way since 2010–2011.
What sorts of things will you be working on with Nori?
I will mainly be building, or working directly on, the Nori dApp architecture. This involves smart contract design and implementation, as well as web-to-dApp mechanics. In addition, I will be crowdsourcing to the world some of the design and implementation schematics of how Nori operates, is interfaced with, or expands into. Hopefully this will spark cooperation amongst other dApp providers, environment focused or not.