I’m currently an undergrad studying a dual degree in physics and “BCII” (a generalist degree focused on transdisciplinary innovation, collective creativity and complexity theory). About 16 months ago, my course director for BCII, Bem le Hunte, invited Jean-François Noubel, @thedavidmeister and Alexar to speak about Holochain and MetaCurrency at UTS. Around this time, I’d just started dabbling in blockchain while working with a social impact auditing firm who was looking to build a ‘social impact cryptocurrency’ which I thought was pretty cool and was learning to design it with them, but very quickly I discovered how ridiculously complicated the currency design was turning out to be – we had like 3 different tokens in this weird structure where one could be speculated on and another was used to balance out the value of a 3rd one and I just kinda gave up.
My lecturer pulled me into a Holochain presentation where they basically were advising against using tokens for measuring wealth, and I was like “Wait what?! What do you mean? How?” – which I’ve come to see as a very typical response for anyone encountering the MetaCurrency work for the first time.
I then spent the weekend hanging out with these guys, with less than a dozen people attending, and part of that felt very right. Like, of course! If you’re onto something really deep and significant and counter-intuitive, it will start really small! And that’s OK. We explored Holochain and Holo, and Deep Wealth more deeply, and generally just felt we were in an environment where we could lay out our gravest concerns for humanity, and - although we were still grasping this new philosophical and technical knowledge - there was a felt sense that these things are fundamentally resolvable, an inner fire that has never flickered since that weekend.
Jean-François then took us to a park where I tried learning a martial art for the first time: Система or Systema. As Jean-François taught us Systema, I saw how he embodied principles of generosity and commoning, sharing one of his special gifts with us. I had such a unique feeling as I wrestled with and stabbed butter knives into people who I thought, and still think, are some of the greatest minds on the planet right now.
Skipping ahead, I got involved in a project with another student who was looking into building a web platform to help scholars get early feedback on their research projects from across the world. Separately, he learned a bit about Holochain from me, and we realised there might be something really interesting to explore here, so together we formed The Omni Project for a university project. We had quite a few months to really expand our understanding of the scholarly communication industry and see it through multiple lenses, and I injected a lot of what I’d learned from Holochain to vitalise the inquiry, and we got pretty far. I was really interested in the unenclosability notion and guaranteed Open Access of content published with a hApp, as well as the ‘Accountable’ part in the ‘Sovereign Accountable Commons’ to make peer review more transparent. We designed a basic prototype for Omni and, wanting to build it but having no prior experience in web development and no passion for letting someone else do it for me, I delved into webdev tutorials. Within about 3-4 months I’d written a bare-minimum prototype, which I haven’t really touched since encountering Daniel Schmachtenberger and his ideas. With him and other podcasts around collective sense-making, I re-entered the liminal. I’m still exploring what true #GameB collective scholarly intelligence will actually involve, and I’m leaving Omni up in the air and letting the current #GameB and Sense-making Web dialogues happen. The more I explore and understand this space, the less I want Omni to just serve the industrial revolution, and the more it looks like it could be a kind of weird (meta)psychotechnology to assist with sense-making more broadly.
Also somewhere in there I attended the Sunshine Coast Intensive which I have no words for. It was absolutely inspiring and I just can’t wait to meet up again with you all, now that I’m a bit more prepared in my technical knowledge.