Going Back to Social Impact Roots

Poses questions for social impact of innovation and straying from roots by hitting higher metrics

Web3 in early 2020s feels a lot like Web2 in the late 90s. Myriads of projects competing to be the best in terms of speed of transaction processing, security and level of decentralization. In this purely technocratic race, we look at metrics such as the number of decentralized nodes, number of transactions and number of NFTs created per day and number of transactions per second. We enjoy this innovation having vague idealistic goals of transforming the world to the better, but soon we’ll be facing the question “are we doing what we originally set out to do?”

Social impact efforts that started in the early 2000s are now facing this tough question. Promising to bring people closer together, they also have been driven by false metrics of number of likes, shares and amount of time people spend watching their feeds, and now we have a polarized society sitting in their echo-chambers worshipping their idols and reciting their version of truth.

Can we avoid such a fate for Web3, which is already tainted by waste of energy and illicit transaction activity? We can, but we have to learn from the lessons of Web 2 and start paying very close attention to self-governance, reputation systems, systems that elevate human creative potential, detection and classification systems which could flag some activity as “good” or “bad” and bring it to the judgement of decentralized jury. All this will require a lot of decentralized metadata.

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