About the talk
Moloch DAO was the DAO that really started everything. Where is it today?
I have 18 years of experience working with fine arts, studying its histories and critical practices across a breadth of mediums and situations. Since the beginning of my art education, I have been absorbed with the philosophical questions that drive creative research and have been exercising careful existential agility regarding the pressing concerns of our age. For the last 4 years, I have been studying Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Critical Theory at the European Graduate School and writing a dissertation on the aesthetic foundations of ontological perspectives. Most recently I have dedicated myself to UX/UI design. Previously, I have worked with many different fine artists and industrial designers in their studios, stylists and photographers in the fashion and interior design industries, and collaboratively with a variety of digital and print designers on various commercial products. I have worked as a freelance designer for many years, working directly with clients on such tasks as building their personal and business websites from scratch and designing promotional print materials for individuals and their brands. I integrate my eclectic experiences of working in both conceptual design and hands-on fabrication to streamline every stage of the project and ease the pains that typically accompany collaborative handoff.View the profile
Hey Travis, how are you? I mean, talk loudly now. I'm very well. Thank you. Awesome. Well guys, good morning. Sorry for that, weird TV. Things that on my end Travis was chilling. Now. He is a bee's perfect. We have an awesome. He's always perfect everything. Perfect. Awesome conversation here. Today. We're going to talk about my like we're going to talk about kind of like the beat the big philosophical questions underneath it. But first, let us start with maybe a little bit of intros getting to know ourselves. And so
Travis. Do you want to, you want to kick ass off? Yeah. Sure. I can kick us off. My name is Travis Travis. Yeh. I am the I think it's official to say the newest member of moloch Dow. I received a Grant during the last grants round for a project that I'm spearheading called Death Guild. It's a it's a research initiative. I am. Not from I'm not an engineer. Okay. So should we address this real quick? Why is it called Death? It's not pejorative. But maybe it's
cynical that. The notion is that death is a part of life that I'm coming in as a non engineer to a space, which is a wonderful Acropolis. I've been attracted to the idealism, the dream of the aetherium world computer and of the kind of Mythos of moloch as this God of coordination failure. And there are there are aspects to the fantasy that which is to say the larger. Looming, systemic fantasy of capitalism and democracy that might have the. To allow for
openings for this new dream to be tethered into. And so, this is kind of what I've been trying to explore with with death killed. That's awesome. I know we kind of like had a bigger Segway about that killed. But please continue in terms of like your involvement. I've been fascinated with the image of moloch since I was 15 years old, which is nineteen ninety-eight for anyone. That's counting. I'm 38 years old. It was a band. I like that. Come from the punk scene of Southern California.
A band called man is the bastard. Powerviolence, send and brutal power. Electronic noise is how I spent my my youth and moloch that front. The Ginsberg poem was rendered into a song that I was listening to when I was in high school and it's stuck with me ever since. And so I, I got involved with food, not bombs organizing and I've been vegan since I was fifteen and I've been interested in sustainable sustainability in small social self. Organized collectives since that time. And I've gone on to get a
couple of art degrees, and do some organizing, an article, for a couple of times, my backgrounds and paint. And I have to drop out of a Ph.D program in philosophy, Aesthetics and critical theory to go down this crypto Rabbit Hole. So I'm coming at it from from certainly, a philosophical perspective. First and foremost. I'm interested in the values that are being generated in the space. That's what's attracting me. And that's why I'm here. That's awesome. So Travis and I had a conversation last week, kind of like in preparation for for this talk.
And what I really enjoyed about our conversation. I really enjoy the perspective that you bring is thinking about the problems that were trying to tackle from a very first principle lens in terms of when you look at mullock doing in terms of what does it mean to coordinate humans. What does it mean to to fund public goods? What does it mean in terms of benefiting Society for? Services that, you know, may have fallen by the wayside based on the come up with utility dynamics, that that we've created through the of capitalism
through through, just like the existing processes that we have in. So it's a breath of fresh air. That's why I'm like, really excited to be here with you right now, talking, because you bring are really just like profound and address things that we don't really talk about day today, cuz we're so kind of caught up in the takken were so caught up in the buzzwords. And so, yeah, I'm really happy to have you and I, and our little family here. Thanks Jen. I appreciate that. Yeah, to be clear my role in my life. I was more than just a member. I'm also part of a working group
with my colleague and will not over here. The two of us are called the really boring Guild. And it's a fitting name, right? Cuz we're doing all the really boring stuff, the operations, the administration, the mechanics of keeping the grant pipeline going. We just, we are here celebrating a successful upgrade of the original moloch owl on the version, one framework to version two. It's a it's a huge feet and it also brings about potentially some cultural changes as well, which is something again that I'm I'm very deeply interested in and
exploring. So we're revamping all of our or documentation. That's not just a membership policies and procedures for potential Grant applicants for what where, where are the procedures for? How to go about doing that? But it's also that the values of what the Dow stands for and Yeah, pragmatically. What were interested in funding? But then also what is the longer-term vision of that? I'm still deeply invested in. I mean and and others that tall is the original white paper. But if you read that there's an emphasis on, you know, the theory him to development and
and and like very specific kind of kinds of agendas alongside a broader vision and idealism of. Again this if your Homeworld computer that ends coordination for a sense of public, goods of aetherium, as a public good that is disruptive, but that also solves a lot of problems and Yeah, so, you know just to be clear. I'm not in a position. I think ever especially in this community weren't we were surrounded by so much incredible kind of Genius talent and vision. I'm in no position to pronounce solutions to such a grandiose problem,
but hopefully, I'm it seems like I'm locating a sense of service in relation to ask him better question. I'm at the first stop really asking and again, like I think when we approach it from a first, we can have a really productive discussion on like what we want to do it. So that's where your mentioning you know be too is it's kind of a a really big milestone for for the down it from a technical perspective, but also a inability for I think use the word last
week like every imagination write-up of what the DACA stand for maybe just for the audience because he has been around and in times of the mindspace of of the community for so long, maybe talk about kind of what it was going to be one. And then maybe we can talk a little bit more about the re-imagination process. I don't know if I can really speak about what it was and do you want? Cuz I wasn't a part of that. I'm a part of what it is becoming and I think that that remains uncertain in a hopefully in the next exciting and
thrilling way what I know for sure is that the Dow is not dead. What I know for sure is that the Brand's is has been embraced as being a strong referent from everyone that I've encountered. And that there is, there's a strong drive to keep that going, but to where Again, that's not completely clear. But in my mind, it's there's so much talk about coordination in the tools that will facilitate that in the governance structures that we might archive in order to track those changes, architectural lie, and I just keep wondering, once all of the
coordination is figure it out. What are we for meeting for? You know, I, I feel like, I feel like I find myself in this incredible Acropolis. And I'm surrounded by so many genius architects. And all I keep thinking is, maybe I should take off all of my clothes. Or at least my shoes. I'm referencing diogenes. Now. I'm referencing. Socrates Socrates philosophy philosophical style myself to Socrates right now. I apologize for that. I'm sorry. I walked around
these incredible cities with no shoes on, right. He should Brad insured wine with the people at the bottom and with the people at the top and he never made pronouncements about, what was what is always questions, Socrates is this gadfly annoying the shit out of everyone else. I know the fate of Socrates, right? Put to death by hemlock for corrupting the minds of the youth. So it was all this talk about social credibility and amounting to Social Engineering. In my ostracizing. Myself right now in my initial introduction. I don't know.
And then diogenes. Sorry. Is this a turning into a philosophical lecture? I'll restrain myself. All right, I will was the ascetic that denounced the son of a banker and then ended up denouncing the the currency and was ostracized from society. Spent his life living in a bear in the public market masturbating in front of people pissing on people insulted. He was the first performance artist. He made a mockery of himself. So that others wouldn't have to so that they could be made aware of.
Maybe the absurdity or the hypocrisy of, of the Acropolis of the, of the people that were all oriented around this. While, you know, it's like a global terraforming, Warmachine, the Greek Empire, as it has become the Roman Empire. And so, this is fitting for Mall, upright. Like, who are we? Sacrificing? And what are we sacrificing to? And what are we sacrificing for? We're sacrificing, our children are our future potential for immediate game, for fuel fodder for the war
machine. No, I mean, I think that This is this is also not for me to necessarily stay with the alternative vision is but it's more of a gadfly question for us all to ask ourselves. What it. What is this hallucination or delusion or Illusion of moloch, that infects us all? What is this terrorizing poor ethic war machine, which we call civilization, is it? Capitalism is a democracy. Who are we serving? Who are our clients? What is the real alternative that aetherium? You know what mom always and forever and
what? What is that alternative vision? Is it more clear? Is it at the wheel of my luck? I don't know. What other? You're awesome, man. You to what other what other questions would you like to pose the community? What do you think about, you know, that what we're building what we're driving towards you? Look around. And you're saying, haha, like people are either assuming certain things about what we're building about the end states of over trying to build towards, or maybe it's just so
ingrained into what we do based on the existing values that were pouring over from Weatherby capitalism Weatherby, you know, Western values kind of an open question. What are those other questions? I don't know, exactly. I know that I'm a cynic but not a pessimist. I am here to learn from those but no better than me. I'm here to not provide Solutions but to try to ask better questions and a lot of questions have come up yesterday. And I think, do I have specific ones that I would call out? Now, I don't know. But I mean, there's core
values to this community community for going to go far. We got to go together. There's a there's some speed at play here that I find horrifying but I don't know if that's something I manifesting or if the momentum of the community is manifesting her. And again, what are we coordinating for? What is all of this emphasis on optimization? What what are we optimizing for? And what comes next, right? So, we have what with really boring Guild with and myself. We have a road map to get this couple of months, for initiated
in and successfully accomplished this upgrade. And next will be some drafting a community documents and we need your help. Like, I can't write the manifesto for Molag Bal. I can't like this has to be a community effort and needs to be people from this community, that helps me right at the help that we can. We help each other support, this new infrastructure. And this is, this is really about doubted, our relations, and it has to do with a subjective, a personal ontological shift to It was all of us asking this question to ourself is really how we
want to design ourselves in relation to this vision and it goes both ways. Sure, we could frame it as this technology. Change culture is culture change technology, but really what's the difference? And more importantly, has it changed. Me and my vision of the world and how I interact in the world. And how did it change that Collective Vision? That speculative vision of the future to come? Can we help each other? Articulated? Can we make sure it's actually not just making the world a better place but making it really fucking explicitly concretely, you know, it with a
high-definition high-acuity, exactly what we dream it to be. Can we have line somehow how we conduct ourselves in this present with that Future Vision? I know it's an impossibly large question, but it does pose a really interesting kind of like internal monologue like internal die like that that we can have with ourselves around when we when we launched Dow's, when we think about, you know, improving human coordination. What is what is it for, right? You're saying, like, what are we eating for? Like, what, what is the n states that we're trying to
achieve? And I think, for a lot of us, it's not very clear. It has to be but we're very reactive two problems that we're trying to solve. And so you have you asked me a question this morning. You're like these questions that you're posing. How does it relate to the dowel that I'm building? And my first reaction was when I found it, you know, one of the Dalles it that I bill is call described out. It's basically like pulling together. Interest start with the impetus for it is there is just so much
damn stuff happening in the crypto space that isn't impossible to really keep up or impossible to really like filter through noise and Lexie with really signal to be educated in and have productive discussions with the community. It's, it's just it's too hard especially if you're a builder and you're focusing on your own thing, right? And so when I when I when you asked me that question, I looked at it and I wondered I'm like, I'm improving coordination between folks that are interested in was having his face and folks are interested in volunteering their time to to help those
people, but I don't know what the end state looks like. Is it that we're all just like super gigabrain in? Like, we just like to know what's happening all the time. I've never even asked that question, right? And so that's why I think these, these questions are so important. Because if, if there's, at least a Northstar that we're marching towards for what we're coordinating for. I think we become Bowser Builders, as a result. Yeah, and nobody really knows. If if we're honest with ourselves, anyone that says that they know is precisely the person that you shouldn't listen to. But we're all.
Increasing our skill sets with each other along side of each other. And Yeah, so making sure that we Craft Space. To craft to design openings, very intentionally, you know, I hope that these structures that we are articulating or not horrific robotic apartments or Granite Cox or, you know, any of these other apocalypse apocalypse, apocalyptic images that are evoked in ginsberg's poem. You know, I hope that they remain porous. Defuse a lot of talk yesterday about, you know, mycelial networks and the spongy massive Redwood
forest floors, and there's, there's other ideas other archetypes that we might evoke. And there's other voices that we must ensure our given space and opportunity to be heard here. Other people that are not represented in our Dow, in my locked out and met a cartel and the future will be ensuring, that there is space made for those voices that this becomes a chorus. And I don't know, maybe some people will identify roles for themselves of booking. The venues and others will become the conductors and others will know
take the score and others will be performers. But all of those roles are essential for the performance. Just jumping on top of that. I know that providing a space for diverse opinions is really important to you. And I also know that, you know, during this new kind of chapter 44, molix out your reimagining public goods. What is the purpose of my like in terms of you? No funding those. Question is, how we merge with two together. It's like, what is mullock's role
in terms of its initial vision statement towards Dyke. Providing space for diverse voices or providing you may be just like open the aperture for you. No, other kind of needed services that are lacking in the space. What is the question? How do we do it or what is not what how we do? Like, what is what is molecular? What is, You Know Your Role and kind of bringing us towards that vision. Well, probably easier to identify my own roll cuz I can be accountable to myself again. I feel a little insecure speaking on behalf of this larger,
Dow of which I am the newest member. I'm no enemy in no way. Do I want to position myself as Being a steward to that Vision in a singular way, but for my own part, I think. I was having a conversation with someone last night. About the the specific procedure, right? We have our vision and we have our values trade, with hang it, much more eloquently with this 3-piece whatever the focus on the procedure, how exactly we do. It will. Let that seems clear to
me by imagining it and taking account of holding yourself accountable to the division that you're having. And then you chase it, you struggle with it, you wrestle with it and you put words on it and you find references and you make it concrete and make it real you practice. Both the police and the and the Praxis, you know, like both the the, the poetic rumination and also the action, these things come hand-in-hand. So we have an army of of Engineers and and Brilliant designers here. And now there are is an opening that's been created for. I don't know
wild cards for like for shamans and Mystics for artists. And this is a necessary skill set also for increasing the Fidelity, the Acuity of the vision. And The exploitation of it, the articulation of it, you know, it would verbose language perhaps at first and sorry. I'm very long-winded but increasingly that will become concise and it will be more concretely, not like not reduced Envision in or in scope, but just more comprehensible and then we will act upon it. So, how do we do it? I mean, we just fucking do it. We ensure of it at every single moment is a diversity of
perspectives represented here. Am I talking too much? I don't know. Maybe I should. Shut up a little bit so that someone else can speak. So that there's room for an alternative perspective in my open to the criticism. Am I Willing to break my whole world. You apart? Is that am I willing to make that sacrifice so that we might rebuild it again in another way. Do you think that we're missing? either infrastructure or I've been talked quietly again, either infrastructure or Community or voices that can invite thinkers.
And you know, you've mentioned like artists your philosophers, right? I mean hard to save hard to call yourself a philosopher of it thinking about those kind of like philosophical questions. Do you think we're lacking in that in the communion? If so, like what is something that we can do in order to elevate these questions that you pose in that we're thinking about is a community. I wouldn't I don't think that it's lacking. I think there's a lot of alignment. I feel very alliance with this community in the vision
and in the values and in the procedure, I wouldn't speak out or be overly critical or cynical about anything that I've encountered so far. I'm thrilled. I'm very enthusiastic about this vision. That being said, we have to remain careful. We have to check ourselves at all. Layers of that of that weather with the delusion or an illusion, her hallucination, or some kind of new dimension of reality that we're entering into. And that has to happen at every step along the way. Maybe I'll
play the bad guy and I said, I think it's, I think it's lacking in this base. Maybe not in the sense of right here by your clothes. See me tonight, you know, maybe maybe with a few drinks under me on stage at at 9:30 in the morning. I think it's like it's not it's not like we were lacking in the thoughtfulness of what we do. It's not that we're lacking in the intellectual Firepower, The Tackle these problems. I think we are lacking in the like concerted effort to like what you said, like embedded into everything that
we do. We talk about the metaverse and you know, it's fine that it's kind of in an amorphous thought. But we don't talk about the implications of what it means. To literally create another world that is running parallel with us. We talked about what does it mean to have self Sovereign identity, the owner of data to owner own? Your financial instruments in our freedom. We're not thinking at least we're not speaking out loud about at least my perspective about the implications of that. Right? How does that change our
relationships with one another? How does that change our relationships with work with our identity? Like it? When I spend so much time on twitter.com or when I fragments my identity through various Concepts is that people know me. It hurts. like, In a way that I can't truly articulate and we're like, oh, I didn't do so multi-faceted, like know, it's like I feel like I'm hopping between different one. So it's like, I don't think we're asking sorry, like
that's kind of asking these questions out loud. Yes, and I would love to see that more. I guess. I'll be the bad guy. I'll maybe get naked tonight or something. Right now, maybe not, everyone is but maybe not. Everyone needs to be. I'm not trying to imply that either. Some people need to focus on the infrastructure. Some people need to focus on the, on the logistics in the scaffolding and the construction is just as important as that as the deconstruction. But, you know, I love this mean, that's been around this conference, that we had so much fun learning to
do also, but we also need to learn how to facilitate each other's values and, and I in the really boring field or such a work, a good strong working team because she really facilitates my being able to think this way. And in turn I try to facilitate her having this incredible skill set and expertise experiences. She's had a career that I I have never had a career. and, you know, yeah. Just a little TMI on my life and forming. Those kinds of relationships is essential. We need organizers. We need Builders. We need designers. We need all of that. To, we can
all become philosophers. We can't all be naked living in barrels in the Market Square. As my overdose in the metaverse as much as that might be for some people. Yes, radical vulnerability, and transparency, and intention, and all of that. But also each in their own way, at their own speed, and let's all do it together. We're going to go far together, right. Those core values of this group of metal. Cartel are fucking strong and they drive that momentum. We just have to continue to be critical of the vehicle and where we're headed and the reasons why countability all along the way,
I don't know. That's what my lockdown was about. That's what this community's about. That's how those Dallas are aligned. That's how many towels are aligned. We have to ensure that, you know, the strength of that, cohesion of that itchy Civ as as we move forward. Nothing makes a lot of sense. Thank you for letting me be here.
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