Seeing like a DAO

A book I read during holiday break was Seeing like a State by James C Scott, an analysis of the modern state, how it makes its society “legible” to itself in order to govern it, and how that shapes everyday life for everyday people like you and I.

It’d come recommended to me a handful of times in my 5 years in the web3 space, so I was glad to finally get a chance to read it!

TLDR Notes of the book By Nate Eliason

I found the book to be a fun & informative read.

I think this subject matter is especially relevant to the greenpill movements / the Supermodular purpose to “cultivate a more regenerative digital frontier”.

What can we learn about attempts to improve the human condition in the Industrial Age such that we can avoid their mistakes as we build Information Age Mechanisms?

For me, the answer to this question is an inverse of Nate Eliasons’s criteria listed above:

  1. DAOs much make their subjects intelligible to themselves.
  2. DAOS must avoid authoritarian control of themselves or their markets.
  3. DAOs must cultivate a civil society around them.

The “normalbaum” concept, or normalized tree concept, has so many great parallels to the regenerative finance space that it’s absurd more systems theorists and economists don’t read Scott.

1 Like

say more about this? id love to hear some examples.

I read this book for one of my sociology classes, and I think this is really good for understanding governmentality, biopolitics, and how and for what purposes modern institutions were shaped.
I can recommend the link below for further reading, I personally really like the Foucauldian social constructivist perspective :herb:;jsessionid=5DEB4B91166A139549BE5704396B9642

“Governmentality and biopolitics speak both of the construction and articulation of “population,” and to the management of the said population. Through these concepts, Foucault describes the emergence of the modern bureaucratic state, and its reliance on statistics of birth, death, recidivism, health, and so on, for the purposes of the management of the population. Through his genealogies of various institutions of the modern bureaucratic state, such as the school, prison, hospital, and asylum, Foucault describes the construction of the population as a collection of “docile bodies,” who are disciplined and managed vis-à-vis the range of “correctional” institutions that deal with various articulations of “delinquency” and “abnormality.” Fundamental to his argument is the extent to which coercion is relatively subtle and indeed contributes to and works with forms of self-government, such as Foucault’s other work on the “care of the self” (see Burchell 1996; Foucault 1988, 1998, 2006). Through disciplinary regimes fostered by statistical data collected and managed by the bureaucratic state – which have contributed to the design of public disciplinary institutions and are thus a constitutive part of the modern state – in much the same way as the Panopticon operates, the existence of real surveillance is secondary to its disciplinary effects. Whether or not one is actually being watched at any specific time, as is the case in the Panopticon – a prison designed by Jeremy Bentham in which prisoners could be observed at all times, but the observer was not visible to the observed – conceals the fact that one is potentially always being watched, which has a powerful effect on the self, slowly eroding difference and reinforcing a self-disciplined homogeneity, which is the portion of the Panopticon on which Foucault focused his attention. In this sense, governmentality and biopolitics can be read as a culmination of Foucault’s thought, and an exposure of the complexity and resilience of sovereign power and its close relationship with biopower, sometimes termed by Foucault as political theory’s failure to “cut off the king’s head,” or displacing the role of sovereignty in dominant ontologies of the political.”

1 Like

One of my all time favorite books - would love to see an actual DAO inspired essay on it