While I tend to find the best use of these channels to be focused suggestions for improvement and feedback, I’m increasing finding generalized misalignment with the DAO, and rather than continue to hit this concern in an ad-hoc manner which is increasingly being perceived as a lack of empathy, I will outline some thoughts here; as ever feedback is welcome. I understand that this is unconventional formatting for a post and I ask that everyone bear with me, as I’m feeling some unconventional feelings toward this organization.
I’m a DAO maxi, through and through. It’s why I’m here in generalized terms. I don’t wake up and think, “I love Indices” (but I’d buy that tshirt, lol) yet it’s rare that I go 5 minutes without making some connection irl to a way to improve this DAO. My heart is here and it’s breaking and here’s why:
The reason I am here at IC DAO is not just because I vibe with the people and the mission, but I find the manner in which we work to be foundational to the way we grow . . . we’ll never ‘achieve’ our goals because we’re too driven to ever allow ourselves to lean on the goalpost. That said, we all live on trails and paths, as this is a journey I hope to be on for as long as I’m willing and you’ll have me.
The feeling generally expressed by those wishing to centralize to move forward, is that distributed governance doesn’t work effectively. I think that those who push hardest tend to withhold proper consideration around risk absorption and scalability in practical resourcing terms (liquidity), but that’s a contextual point of disagreement, not a foundational philosophical misalignment, and that’s where my concern mainly lies . . .
Power and influence tend to accumulate to those that want it, and traditionally to those that are capitalized regardless of capital-source (capitalism). The decentralized feature of DAOs is appealing because I can see and understand the parts, understand how I fit in, and consider the impacts of my actions well in advance of execution; in short I can pre-emptively act with empathy and efficiency through holding holistic context. Now that we’re more organized, I tend to see us a organs within a body; we all fill roles, some critical to sustainability.
That said, a body needs a brain and I believe that’s where my alignment is strained. I’m of the opinion that the body is a better signaling mechanism for sustainability than the brain; the brain tries to interpret the needs of the body, but the brain isn’t representative of the body, other than conceptually and that’s very different. What’s being considered currently are options around how to give this DAO a better brain, imo, and just like in a human unable decide, we’re taking a step back to zoom out and ask ourselves, “how do we give this DAO the best brain we can?”
In my time here, we’ve flip-flopped. We had a body-DAO for a year and it was fine because we were coming out of the mud. This organization started with a single cell, mitosis got us to working groups and we found that through time we needed a circulatory and organ system and just like any growing child, we want to play and explore. Then we delegated to a council and we had a brain-DAO that reflected that the body had grown a bit flabby and that the we needed to get more fit and functional by process-type . . . @BigSky7 put this well when he said on a call that really we can now focus on making our individual piece of the pie amazing.
Earliest forum post I can referencing a council:
We are now at a crossroads and have exponentially more information. We can function as a body, but not without challenges. We can reorganize with a brain, but sustainability can only be determined through time and the reorganization is not yet complete. We have 4x the amount of data availability re our body-DAO than we do our brain-DAO. We’re still young at trying to ‘think’ as a holistic organization via representative democracy, but can the body this council has sculpted move through time effectively? The harsh reality is that in a body with billions of cells, some get lost everyday, but new ones are grown, and largely the organism that is my body doesn’t have to give conscious thought to that process; in a DAO we really do.
As humans our existence is a call and response function between the wetware that sustains our higher functions, and the consensus network that is our brain which intentionally moves our body through time. The reason I know we can make consensus networks decide AND execute is because I can brush my teeth in the morning . . . billions of braincells directing billions more in constant communication; I still manage to get things done, and this DAO is the same. Just as we seek to be effective little modular consensus networks ourselves, we seek to build the best modular consensus network to serve our customers (product users) and keep our body-DAO healthy to keep doing so.
I currently believe the conversation we’re having is foundational. As a question, it’s effectively, “do we let the brain or body drive our actions”, and I really challenge this DAO to consider the features of both. Over time, I’ve found that no matter how effective I think I’m being at maintaining a positive decision function, the systems that support those functions and allow for execution (my body) are critical infrastructure, and the effects of even temporary dislocation can be jarring (I think very differently when I’m hungry, or cold) . . . we don’t like to admit it but this organization is an organism and our existence is dependent all the same on parity between the decisions we make and the ability of our executive arms to survive and thrive without dislocation.
As I see it, consensus mechanisms are the best way for the critical infrastructure of this DAO (contributors) to give meaningful feedback to inform a decision function (how do we spend our time?). That said, of late I’ve felt that the exhausted body that is this DAO have both been happy to offload the critical-thinking aspects in favor of focusing on functional excellence, but the feedback mechanism that both informs a decision function and signals pain has been effectively disconnected from the decision function (one hour/week of chatting). We lacked a mechanism for ongoing body-brain alignment at a periodicity less granular than 1-week. Essential representatives should be available representatives.
So the problem to solve for - how to establish a decision-function that is in perfect harmony with an executive function. The average individual spends a lifetime hoping to achieve this, as a DAO we’re beating the average human in comparative terms (in human years I’d put this DAO at about early adolescence; we just had some awkward changes we have new desires, we’re figuring out how to move through this ecosystem effectively, but have yet to really feel a sense of identity). Swinging from body to brain has shown what can be useful from each, so I’d like to propose we learn from that for a time knowing that both are possible and endeavor to take the best of both, apply them here, and move forward with a clear plan.
Again, I know this isn’t a conventional post and I appreciate your time here. I know I can present strangely to those that are steeped in command and control executive environments and it requires an immense amount of trust to even conceptually allow for a distributed-decision framework to inform or replace the centralized ones we all tend to default to. I’ll endeavor to act with empathy while we endeavor to reflect and iterate on improvement; as I see it, this seasonal conversation between the body and brain regarding what good communication looks like will drive our organization iteratively through time and allow for course adjustments that other more rigid DAOs may not be able to make.
@anthonyb.eth took the initiative to organize a meeting on alternative governance and while I am feeling pressure from some ex-council members who wish to stay in power to stand up some consensus constructs asap to provide a way for the body-DAO to express outside of forum polls and the INDEX token (with circulating supply representing ~1/50 of this DAO) I’m going to attend this session and garner as much feedback as possible to help inform what a useful decision/feedback mechanism is to keep the body of this DAO aligned with the decisions we make. Additionally a council<>DAO retrospective is being scheduled for 08Mar22 with details to follow here once available.
Alternative Governance Workshop
Monday, March 7 · 13:30 – 14:30 ET
Google Meet joining info
Updated: Video call link: https://meet.google.com/vor-shsa-rqm?authuser=1
Thank you for your focus and feedback.