Holochain Forum

Holochain for Global Cooperation

I’m writing up a backgrounder on me.

No, but I will.

Yes, I see the constitution as forkable. Initially, I envisioned a “constitutional continuity” with a light footprint that oversees the constitution, conventions, and generally maintains the integrity of constitutional cooperation. Article I.

The vision for the GCC is an educational, training, and support cooperation with no governance role. GCC cooperators could go out into the community and help set up new coops, provide funding avenues, support research, and build connections, collaboration, and sharing opportunities for the community members individually or as a whole.

After reading your replies, I know you have a more granular understanding of decentralized networking and I’m open to any thoughtful suggestions.

1 Like

What I found working in cooperatives was that there were no universal structures that allowed people to easily understand how the cooperative functions. And there was no continuity when moving from one to the other. And yes, there are some great cooperatives that I support in Austin.

This vision is about building tiny to mid-size autonomous cooperations with the infrastructure to connect, collaborate, and share with others. I can see people setting numerous cooperations with different people doing different things. The structure allows for scale and continuity without control.

We, meaning Holo, CC, hApps, and GCC, et al. would provide the information, tools, and support under this framework to allow them to be fully independent, but with a robust community of opportunity. Again, you are the expert in DAO, and I will listen to all productive thoughts. My vision is the advancement of human cooperation in support of a more equitable society.

I have briefed over all the suggestions and without exception they are generally badass.

From my point of view cooperation is a simple act that, with simple understandable structures, can be easily interpreted by any individual and incorporated simply into a cooperation with a couple buddies.

The massive flow charts, verbose descriptions, and technical jargon is all great, but this should be as simple as possible for the newbie. No harder than setting up your fb or insta account.

1 Like

But, with a network more powerful than any other!!!

If you can get through all the dancing puns, I think you’ll find a lot of interesting things to chew on in the DisCO model, especially some of their ideas around a set of technology tools to “spin up” one of the coops they describe. They seem to be coming from some other technological angles (namely, blockchain), though. I bring up the DisCO model because I think that your GCC built on top of a set of holochain-based tools would look like a sibling of their model, so I’m hoping that comparing/contrasting between the two may help me understand better what your vision is.

I’m also still trying to get a better understanding of your familiarity with the different thinkers that seem to be somewhat known in this community. Are you familiar with Paul Krafel and his book “Shifting”/“Seeing Nature” or his film “The Upward Spiral”? I’ve found his work very inspiring; if you haven’t heard of him, he’s a naturalist who uses vivid examples from nature to illustrate how to think of the world as systems with “flows”, and how small actions can interact with and alter those flows towards better outcomes. This quote here reminded me of his perspective, and I think that keeping that perspective in mind when pursuing this goal helps such a large task remain actionable.

This quote reminds me of an article I read recently where the author outlined their vision for their “life on holochain”.

I wouldn’t claim to be an expert! Just an interested “agent” in the process of building whatever it is we’re all trying to do :sweat_smile:

I hope it doesn’t feel like I’m just bouncing you out to a bunch of other places, but I do think it’s important to get a bit of context established.

I’ll study and get back to you by the end of the week.

1 Like

Looking forward to it! Hopefully some more people will drop by this thread as well. The aspect of the DisCO initiative that sounded of most interest is their (not yet released) concept of basically some software tools that will apparently let you build one of these organizations. Since it does not exist yet, it is difficult to fully assess its utility, but they outline the ambition in more detail on this page: The DisCO CAT and DisCO Tech.

1 Like

Building on the blockchain is not the way to go for this strategy.

Definitely agree with you on that one. That’s one of the core blind spots of that model.

1 Like

I think the blockchain is slated for the dustbin of history due to the environmental impact, the cumbersome architecture, and the coming regulation. It will take some time due to the dominance and value of Bitcoin. But, in the end, a Holochain schema will become the standard. But, I’m just a layperson, so what do I know.

1 Like

I am replying to your request for more background information.

You might say, I’ve had two lives. I was an entrepreneur who started a menswear retail store at 21. In 1990, after ten years of profitable business, I moved to NYC. The internet was just rolling out to the mainstream. Being in NYC and loving new ideas, I developed a 200-page business plan for what was termed a “consumer network.” I enlisted a Stanford-trained engineer, developed a legal team that provided $500k of seed capital, and raised an additional $12 million in a second raise.

The project was named YouNetwork. In simple terms, it was an online buyers club (I beg to disagree, but people need analogies). We built the system from the ground up. Aside from products from over 200 vendors, it had a referral network with member profiles, in-network value tracking (YouNetValue) that rewarded members with rebates for purchasing, recommending, and recruiting (in the “invite a friend” sense). My vision for YouNetwork specifically was an aggregation of purchasing power that allowed the members of the network to negotiate prices, consolidate purchases, and hold accountable corporate sellers.

YouNetwork successfully registered with the SEC for a “free share” offering. It is still the only company to file with the commission for such an offering. https://sec.report/CIK/0001078306 . The plan had a launch target for the second quarter of 1998, but the egotistical Stanford-trained engineer took his sweet time while working on other paid gigs. We didn’t launch until the fourth quarter of 1999 and, of course, the collapse followed within months. Due again to the egotistical Stanford-trained engineer, we turned down $50 million in VC money because he didn’t want to dilute his holding. So, sa la vie millions.

Although it was a corporation with investment level shareholders, the intent was always to create a people-powered network for consumer products.

After the crash In 2000, I moved into the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street and, in Dadaist fashion, declared myself an Artist.

In 2009 I moved to Austin and in 2012 moved into a residential cooperative near the Univ of Texas Campus. I became involved in the governance of the coop and expanded my cooperative footprint to active membership in the Austin Cooperative Business Board. I proposed a constitutional convention to update what I believed were outdated modes and structures. After nine months we tested the new constitution at the residential coop. It was a temporary success until, as is always the case in coop houses, a few members threw a wrench into the process. The coop house was mainly post-college people in their early-mid twenties that just wanted to party.

I realized that the project needed people that were committed to building a new paradigm for human cooperation and moved on. I set the project aside until I could find a better way to move forward. I’ve been living on my own writing waiting for the best time to launch the project again.

This is just a brief summary of my pertinent experience. Obviously, I have a much more expansive life beyond what I’ve shared here. Thansks, DonJon.


I reviewed DisCO CAT/Tech just now. They have a lot of excellent ideas, many of which I have contemplated for the GCC project. I admire their commitment to an empathetic community and there are many crossover strategies, structures, and ideals.

DisCO reads like a document written by the cooperative community insomuch as it’s laden with cultural jargon, standards, and commitments. There is a community of people that want to commit to the cooperative cultural movement, and I applaud them for their courage. It’s a small community devoted to the 200-year-old “cooperative” movement, that DisCO themselves suggests has failed.

GCC does not seek to create an emotional movement, rather a movement of movements using structured cooperation. GCC will support the cooperation of three or more people with the information, structures, and tools that will allow anyone to join with others in any way they deem valuable.

Where I’ve recommended a Set of Cooperation Values be adopted at the next convention, like the constitution, the language was selected to allow for an expansive interpretation. In fact, I wrote this because the schema outlined in the constitution could be used by anyone willing to cooperate to do harm (ha!). Additionally, the names, titles, and descriptions are stripped bare of branding, marketing, and allusion to maintain neutrality within the broad confines of the constitution. The simplicity is the beauty.

As people in network technology know, that value is in the connections. I didn’t see anything that DisCO suggested that pointed to the connections I might make and gain by joining their community. The Constitution of Cooperation was written to develop understandable, reliable, and replicable connections to develop one’s opportunities through cooperation. Constitutional Cooperation with Holochain is the killer dApp.

I think the best way forward, if you agree the project has merit, is for me to expand out the Constitutional schema to its natural next steps, including the basic hApps, documentation, et al…

1 Like

Please note that I understand the complexity for the challenge, and the number of interlacing applications that will be required. As you suggest, some of the current hApps in work could be applicable. I’ll send you thoughts on expanding the project into the holochain.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing all of this!

I do think the project has merit, and I think those are valuable next steps that would allow us to start seeing the shape of the project from a technical perspective. It will also hopefully allow for others on the forum to see where their work may plug in (just as I was able to see very quickly how my interests/projects could be a part of the overall goal).

1 Like

It’s just poor forum etiquette. This was not a thread to discuss the differences between different economic theories, it was a thread to discuss a technical project. Coming into a thread to debate the merits of pursuing a project (especially once those discussing have asked to refrain from doing that) is just rude.

Every single thread you enter you post 500 links to mises.org and dismiss every single appeal to find any kind of common ground. You are not saving anyone’s time, you are wasting it. Please leave this thread.


I am working on fleshing out the project and will be posting soon. I’m very excited to be working on it again. Stay tuned.

Also, I do think people should allow everyone their own space to discuss proposed applications without excessive posting and abuse. I assume they are threatened. So much for their “do no harm” philosophy.

Interesting… I’ll need to analyze it better. I just skimmed it rapidly. My first feeling is that the doc is more values-driven than game-theoretic driven. All governance must be a good balance of those. The values dimension affects everyone’s decision to participate. If the values embedded are repugnant, we chose not to play the game. If we decide to play and if I can get access to the game the rules and the decision making process should be designed to increase the probability of achieving the shared goal. The description of this dimension of governance should invoke game theory-type, economic concepts.


I tend to be skeptical of language like this, since I associate it with a competitive world view. Could you elaborate more on what you mean?

Also, below is an excerpt from The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop that highlights some of what I mean. I see concepts like “game theory” and “(neoclassical) economics” to be relatively reductive concepts that don’t take the actual complexity of the world into account. This excerpt is in the context of the nuclear-arms race after WWII, but there are aspects of Norbert Wiener’s leaning into cybernetics to better model the world that I think that aligns very closely with this new, agent-centric model of computing. I think that a paradigm shift will allow us to move away from rigid ideas like game-theory, and see the world from a more human and complex vantage point.

Through the use of innovative analytical tools such as von Neumann’s game theory, went the argument—an argument that was already being embraced by strategic thinkers in the government and in newly formed think tanks such as the RAND Corporation—the nuclear-arms race could be rationalized, mathematized, reasoned about, and managed .

Wiener begged to differ. He certainly didn’t favor irrationality in human affairs; the world, he felt, had already heard entirely too much about the “triumph of the will” from Hitler and his ilk. But he did want to see this rising generation of mathematical Cold Warriors be a little less naive about the uncertainties of the world. And in this regard, von Neumann’s game theory seemed to him particularly insidious. Underlying its vaunted objectivity were built-in assumptions about the nature of human beings and human society that Wiener judged to be “an abstraction and a perversion of the facts.”

For one thing, Wiener noted, game theory presumed that the rules of the game were fixed, that competition was inevitable, that all players were perfectly ruthless, and that they would always choose the strategy that furthered their own self-interest, period. And yet, he said, while there was a depressing element of truth to that assumption, it did sometimes happen that player A genuinely cared what happened to player B—as when they were two nuclear-armed nations inhabiting the same planet, for example. Indeed, he wrote (echoing such luminaries as Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein), when war becomes a form of mutual suicide, you don’t want to win the game. You want to get out of the game.

A second problem was that game theory depicted every player as being perfectly rational and capable of foreseeing the full consequences of every possible action. To be fair, it must be said that von Neumann wasn’t alone in this assumption; it was (and remains) a standard axiom of mathematical economics. But with the possible exception of von Neumann himself, such flawless rationality and foresight eluded everyone Wiener knew. “Where knaves assemble,” he wrote in Cybernetics , “there will always be fools.” Furthermore, he maintained, in the real world it was rarely just a matter of two players’ meeting one-on-one. Society, for him, was more closely akin to what would now be called a complex adaptive system—a constantly evolving, endlessly surprising web of interacting players and overlapping feedback loops. “In the overwhelming majority of cases,” Wiener insisted, “when the number of players is large, the result is one of extreme indeterminacy and instability”.

1 Like

Thanks for reviewing the information. I would suggest a shared values-driven economic approach is exactly what’s needed to advance the human condition. In fact, as the project is fully documented you will see where adherence to shared values will, in fact, create far more benefit than a competitive scheme. Constitutional cooperation is the opposite of a zero-sum game.

Jak, you really get this project. And I’m learning a lot from your posts. Also, it’s kismet that you mentioned a book titled The Dream Machine. My novel, The King of MO!, is a magical realism epic based in the Chelsea Hotel in NYC and the multiverse, where one of the protagonists, DonJon, travels the multiverse using Willaim S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine (a real thing - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamachine).

Competition is only inevitable when the rules are formulated solely for that purpose. Additionally, I repeat, 1/3 will always cooperate, 1/3 never will, and 1/3 will do what the group is doing. My experience suggests that those that will never cooperate will always throw wrenches. Therefore this project should be “selective” (not exclusive) bases on the reality of one’s emotional nature.

The following is an interesting paper that relates the work of constitutional cooperation and what is termed private constitutions. The CofC is the primary private constitution that provides the ability for small groups to simply create their own cooperation scheme and remain connected to a vast group of cooperators.