Network Nations are autonomously governed communities comprised of members that share values and who transact with one another. These members may or may not reside inside the borders of the same nation state.
What distinguishes Network Nations from other forms of social organizations is that Network Nations require their members to make their expectations explicit. Expectation is a technical word in the parlance of Network Nations, an expectation is a generic term to refer to a value, preference, or belief held by a Network Nation member. For example, a member of a Network Nation might hold the value of safety for themselves and their family, that might manifest as a preference for safe streets at night, and that might be mobilized by installing street lights due to a belief that that will make things safer. These are instances of expectations of a member of a Network Nation, both moral and epistemic.
It’s important to note that a person’s membership to a particular Network Nation is descriptive, not prescriptive. It’s by looking at the expectations of a member that you figure out which Network Nation they belong to, rather than creating Network Nations to service a particular expectation set. This is akin to how the phylogenetic classification of an animal comes from its DNA. You create the taxonomy based on the DNA, you don’t try to fit the DNA to the taxonomy (I mean, you could, but no one would, ?). In this same way, the shifting expectations of members create new Network Nation distinctions, as needed. In this way, rather than being a distinct entity, Network Nations are more of a dynamic and shifting landscape of values, preferences, and beliefs, running on a shared protocol for encoding and realizing those expectations in the real world.
Naturally, this raises the defining factor, and the primary tradeoff of Network Nations: that in order to function they require members to explicitly disclose their expectations — their values, preferences, and beliefs. It’s the role of entrepreneurs that design governance Network Nation protocols to leverage those disclosed signals to live up to expectations of the members of their Network Nations, lest they lose them to competitors.
There are two benefits to this approach:
It creates a landscape for competition on expectation vectors It allows for experiments in comparing communities that hold different expectations
In this way, we can think about it as creating a cultural evolutionary landscape that supports both the reification of values through selection (1) and the transcription of successful expectation sets to other communities (2). Of course, these sorts of things already happen in cultural evolution. There are new ideas that then manifest in the real world, and subsequently other groups adopt (or don’t). The proposition here is that by making it explicit and experimental, that sort of evolution can happen faster.
As a member of the protocol changes their expectations, their Network Nation membership automatically shifts. This is a bit like them changing their citizenship and getting the benefits of being in that new country (with that country also benefiting from their membership). At any one time, a member may find themselves a partial member of many distinct Network Nations. And insofar that there’s a population with expectation sets poorly services by the existing Network Nations, there’s an opportunity for an entrepreneur to serve that group. This is similar to how political parties work today — if perhaps more dynamic and multiscale.
Likely, there will be many variations on the exact implementation of this sort of Network Nation protocol, and different ones will trade off privacy for fidelity to varying degrees. This is worth mentioning just because a common critique of Network Nations is that they will destroy privacy, but invasion of privacy is not necessary to create a Network Nation protocol, especially given the promise of zero knowledge technology for disclosing only limited information.
Network Nations are economically bound communities that self govern and hold shared expectations Network Nations are only possible in the context of explicitly shared expectations, as that’s used as the basis for competition and experimentation The membership of an individual to a particular Network Nation is emergent, with Network Nations being defined by their expectation sets, and the membership benefits and policies flowing to the members nearest in expectation space
How are Network Nations different from Network States?
Network Nations and Network States share key components, like However, they differ in some key ways:
Single moral innovations
Network States give great importance to single moral innovations, going as far as to instruct ostensible Network State founders to focus on one distinguishing issue:
By focusing on just one issue, you can set up a parallel society with manageable complexity, as you are changing only one civilizational rule. Unlike a political party, you’re not offering a package deal on many issues that people only shallowly care about. With the one commandment you are instead offering a single issue community, and attracting not single-issue voters but single-issue movers.
By contrast, Network Nations are distinguished from one another by the values held by their members that are necessary values in a sufficient set. These value bundles are due to a technical constraint:
Most social innovation requires epistemic and moral innovation that’s non-singular: it builds on existing value sets, while also adding to or modifying the value set. [Hey author what if you found a way to say this that doesn’t sound so pedantic and inaccessible, like what about an example?] It’s due to that new bundle that new dynamics emerge (whatever the desirable outcomes of the community might be)
In this way, Network Nations are built around value bundles — or what are called above, expectation bundles — that then gain memberships from people adopting those expectations.
Not important. [TBC]
No fetish here
The Hard Borders of the State
Nation > State
How are Network Nations different from CoordiNations?
CoordiNations aren’t well enough defined for me to compare them yet.