2nd September 2014
I’m happy to announce that a new collection of essays that I’ve co-edited with John Clippinger, executive director of ID3, has been published. It’s called From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond. The fifteen essays in the book explore a new generation of digital technologies that are re-imagining the foundations of digital identity, governance, trust and social organization.
ID3 is a Boston-based nonprofit affiliated with the M.I.T. Media Lab, and was co-founded by Clippinger and social computing and data expert, Professor Pentland, who directs M.I.T.’s Human Dynamics Laboratory.
The book is focused on the huge, untapped potential for self-organized, distributed governance on open platforms. There are many aspects to this challenge, but some of the more interesting prospects include evolvable digital contracts that could supplant conventional legal agreements; smartphone currencies that could help Africans meet their economic needs more effective; the growth of the commodity-backed Ven currency; and new types of “solar currencies” that borrow techniques from Bitcoin to enable more efficient, cost-effective solar generation and sharing by homeowners.
A chapter on the 28-year history of Burning Man, the week-long encampment in the Nevada desert, traces the arc of experimentation and innovation in large communities devising new forms of self-governance.
I co-authored an essay in the book, “The Next Great Internet Disruption: Authority and Governance,” which appeared in an earlier form here.