In 2 years of Other Internet, here’s our first newsletter. Hello all.
Sam, Laura, and Toby recently published a new essay titled Positive Sum Worlds: Remaking Public Goods. In the piece, we aimed to revive the powerful worldbuilding connotations of the term “public goods.” Instead of thinking of this term as a technical classification, we should work to activate it in its most potent sense: how can we bring what is good for different communities into our work? How can we make our work public by creating positive outcomes for communities beyond our own?
Our theory of public goods as positive externalities is one answer. But how should people begin to design and create these goods? When you write a critical essay, you are often asked to what the “next steps” are, or how people might take action on these ideas. In collaboration with Gitcoin, we are creating an opportunity to do just that.
Open Call for Public Goods Proposals
This open call will reward written proposals, ~1200 words in length, that advocate for an existing public good or a potential public good project, satisfying the criteria of positive externalities and driven by values. Submission deadline is August 17th, and selected essays will be awarded 1ETH.
You can apply whether or not you work in crypto. In fact, we are especially interested in non-crypto people and orgs who have already been doing something in the public’s interest. We’ve put together a selection committee of people who are doing the most to work for the public across a diverse range of organizations. Check them out at the bottom of the above linked page.
Note that the modest award isn’t a budget for doing all the work; instead, it’s more appropriate to think of this as acknowledgment of work done in the public’s interest, or as an award for creating compelling, concrete ideas for public goods.
If you have a project or a project idea you’d like to write about, please apply, and tell friends and colleagues to apply as well. Submissions are due by August 17th. Apply at the link above!
The RFP is the most important message we have to send today, but while we have you, here are a few other things we have going on.
We received a research grant from the Ethereum Foundation to build the first cross-protocol body of knowledge about off-chain governance, “community management,” and Discord. Discord is one of the most widely used pieces of software in the space. Not many projects realize how key off-chain governance practices are currently structured by Discord itself. In effect, projects are delegating off-chain governance and the social dynamics of their communities to Discord and related tools like Discourse forums.
The project is co-funded by individual protocols who are providing us access and funds to research their specific Discords and social governance processes. Uniswap Grants Program was the first to provide us with a grant for this purpose, and our first report will be coming out soon. For protocols, this is an amazing opportunity to get an outside, objective analysis of how different parts of your off-chain governance and community infrastructure are working, or not working. Please reach email@example.com if you are interested in having your protocol be part of our research project.
Finally, Kei published an incredible essay, A Prehistory of DAOs. Without a doubt, it is the most comprehensive piece of writing on the topic. It puts DAOs in context of related past organizational forms and technologies, clarifies many of the confusions about how the term DAO is currently used, and illustrates what they might become.
The best writing plants seeds, seeds which blossom through the nurturance of careful readers who understand the opportunity given to them by the ideas within, seeds which can grow into better worlds. This essay carries many such seeds.
This is a final encouragement to apply to the public goods RFP, and to send it to groups working in in the public’s benefit. Together, we can Become Good.
Have a lovely August,
– Other Internet
I wish I found it last summer