Bottom Up Governance + Indigenous R+D
Stacks Advocates Program & Ecosystem Update Series
Below is a brief description of how indigenous modes of bottom up organization & long term sustainability may speak to the Stacks Advocates Program & core CBE values in general. This also serves as a continued invitation to historical indigenous Two Row Wampum dialogue; key to true access to important protocols for bottom up organization.
This being a beautiful opportunity to ensure navigation away from conventional governance missteps – which is a lot historically easier said than done without authentic unconventional practice – Enter Historical Two Row Wampum protocols for peace. A forgotten indigenous influence on our modern concepts of equality, federalism, checks and balances, representatives etc.
But this influence was severely altered into top down, male dominant distribution of wealth & power; the antithesis of the indigenous original bottom up protections. Renewed access to these protocols in online & blockchain systems means a unique chance to correct missed opportunities for native guidance to long term sustainable systems design.
Bottom Up Systems Design
Bottom up decision making and distribution of land, commons, in place of top down distribution of wealth extraction of the voiceless; is a major distinction between our modern systems of social economic organization and ancient modes of sustainable systems design. Here are some beautiful over simplified diagrams from generative justice research group. One of our initial inspirations and call to action foundational research and now partners in our efforts. Double lines = unalienated value flows. Single lines = Alienated value(s) flow. Matrilineal, regenerative commons or top down distribution of power & wealth, male dominance.
Sa’te‘tion’kwat’te — We are all equal, is the original United People. Likely the very word that inspired folks like Jefferson, Franklin & others for the version we familiar with here in the “United States.” Major problem is that the indigenous linguistics are specifically matrilineal — meaning “everything is the same height, from a blade of grass to a mountain,” as our elder language teacher Wahiakeron has told us. This extends human voice of the united people to include all strains of life, our brothers & sisters from our immediate ecosystems out to our family throughout solar systems.
Checks and balances meant ancient protocols passed down millenia to protect & sustain this matrilineal and or regenerative heritage — via a three clan system. Turtle, Wolf & Bear. Wake’niah’ton, Wa’ka’tha’hi’ion’ni, Waks’ka’re’wa’ke. Theses are cosmological significations for the fundamental concepts & building blocks for physical matter… This is matrilineal systems design.
And the intricacies of this cosmology extended to the social organization Franklin n company discovered on the eastern seaboard. The fact that a correction to this indigenous dialogue is accessible means bottom up consensus doesn’t have to be winged. It comes free with the correct relationship to the hemisphere and the people who grew out of it.
The protocols of matrilineal consensus are every bit a technology as the technical tools of Stacks PoX protocol or other online tools communities may use for building a beautiful future — via actively reconciling the past & present urgent times through dialogue. This dialogue will amount to important learnings of what exactly Two Row Wampum protocols are — and how to execute them for long term sustainability of Stacks community and ensure a beautiful flow of unalienated value(s).
Many of these values are usually kept invisible — intentionally, so that brutal systemic extraction is as frictionless as possible. The three clan system is a universal model — as opposed to a 13 clan system, which could include nation specific design — even a Potato clan for example.
The three clan system is the seed shape for all the other clan systems in the Five Nations Longhouse Confederacy. They all fractal out of Turtle, Wolf and Bear. This allows for genuine nation to nation autonomy along with scaling peaceful confederation. This peaceful confederation is imperative for the unrivaled indigenous innovation resulting in continent scale modification we often jeopardize & take for granted.
Stacks Advocates Turtles?Wolves?Bears?
We were very excited to see spaces created for voices of men, women and full spectrum of human experiences in Stacks. Protected spaces for matrilineal voices to be heard without male interference is fundamental to these consensus protocols. Key to designing for sustainability — where all strains of life regenerating forces are protected by careful engineering long term. Male spaces without female interference is just as important to these native protocols, as is the coming together of these spaces-- autonomy intact — protections for matrilineal heritage and final say in tact too.
Final say in an indigenous context is not an undisputable, swift top down motion we are used to in modern systems. It’s a reference to bottom up consensus and constitution in the older sense of what we are constituted of – Turtle, Wolf and Bear – in this way final say of us all – also extends to voices of ecosystems and solar systems – Sa’te‘tion’kwat’te — the original United People. And this enables navigation around gridlock in decisions, while also taking our time on the dangerously important stuff – the way a mother would move slowly with her children through dangerous circumstance if need be --rather than an abrupt “efficient” motion of action.
In the council and consensus process Turtles — are the owners of the house. They know the house inside n out, every detail of law. Turtle shells are built from the inside out — inner structural shell — and then the outer patterned shell we all know is formed afterwards. Wake’niah’ton Also translates to “it puts its head in its shell.” This being a reference to Turtle’s complete knowledge of both the laws of prephysics & physics. Matrilineal knowledge of the Great Law of Peace. So the turtles observe the council process and make the final decision of whether a resolution to an issue is of the “good mind.” If protocol was followed it’s made official. If not it is sent back into deliberation between the Wolves and Bears.
Wolf clan serves as the Well. Where any issue can be lodged, from any voice in a nation — to be heard by the consensus process of respective clans of a nation. It is speaker of the Wolf clan that brings issues to the official floor after preliminary delegation of respective issues to the relevant clans.
Wolf clan initiates the deliberation process with the Bears. Of course only bringing issues which are appropriate and sussed out properly in preliminary meetings. This is an important mechanism for streamlining true bottom up representation. 9/10 times the issue is passed to the Turtles to be made official. Wa’ka’tha’hi’ion’ni– gathers the minds, is always moving and so is the initiator and path maker of a nation.
Bears are the medicine clan. Waks’ka’re’wa’ke means “We eat Oskara.” The orange stuff in a tree that falls over in transition into its next cycle. Bears eat this and fall asleep in the log. The medicine of the tree transitions into the medicine of the Bear. The Bears have the knowledge of transition. The knowledge of the “in between” or transition of prephysics to physics. So the one time an issue is sent back by the Turtles — it is the Bears that know how to keep an issue “alive.”
Of course there are many nuances to this protocol beyond this brief oversimplification — but we can start here and learn together! And as we learn which clan we feel the most called to — we can feel comfortable trying what feels best and switching clans if need be — we can feel free to learn — make mistakes. All three clans are in everyone of us. Each clan has the three clans within themselves as well. We can even leverage the collective Stacks ecosystem experience & dynamics to help one another find ourselves throughout.
A second installment of this forum post series will include how the Metagov project can bring these protocols into the digital age via wrapping around respective platform plug-ins like Discord, Discourse, and GitHub! Please stay tuned, comment and dialogue as you feel fit.
Metagov + Sourcecred + Two Row Wampum Dialogue
Metagov is a research project and online governance tool, led by Primavera De Filippi of Harvard blockchain research, Joshua Tan of Oxford & many other brilliant folks! Their aim is to bring innovation to governance of online communities by creating a tool that can wrap around respective community’s and their respective processes can be plugged n played as they see fit.
Policykit — a tool within Metagov can serve as a kind of driver for Metagov when we attach it to Sourcecred. Capable of integrating cred & even cred flow into decision making and/or moderation models of online communities on respective plugins. Please see Source cred docs here.
Policykit allows for policy creation via python — that can actually start actions or stop actions on respective plugins. An example of actions that can be started is a Loomio poll in discourse… Or a proposal to change a constitution of policies. It can also stop undesirable actions by pinging respective folks to discourage certain behaviors or simply auto deleting “toxic” language via python modules. There is also capacities for date and time triggers for respective actions too.
The idea that these tools together can enable fairly unlimited expressiveness — is where we get back into indigenous modes of bottom up organization.
What if we can accomplish in online communities what we failed to accomplish for 500 years on this hemisphere and far longer on the other? What if we can design authentic indigenous dialogue into the systems of tomorrow by carefully embedding this dialogue seamlessly into the beginning of this digital age? And what does matrilineal protocols for peace look like in global local/regional online interactions?
Cred Impact Tracking
One thing that comes to mind is cred impact tracking & delegation as a means for implementing matrilineal indigenous consensus. Key is ensuring bottom up representation doesn’t even have a “perception of corruption.” An important protection of bottom up voices in all strains of life being heard in autonomous consensus.
Merely tagging folks in posts that are tied to official consensus calls can be checked by policy kit before platform actions are passed — if you were not present, acting maliciously as a community voice, or even false representation by a rep of a clan in the consensus process. You cannot receive Cred as if you were a participant in consensus process.
Bottom Up Quorums
We also believe PK can also ensure a bottom up quorum(s) capacity by checking that all respective members in a clan are tagged before passing the action of sending out official posts. Global asynchronous quorums seem plausible too considering PK allows for date time triggers that can close and open when conducive for respective time zones of Stacks Advocates for example.
These same mechanisms are great for inter clan delegation too — for ensuring important preliminary meetings can be tracked globally. Ensuring this preliminary consensus is embedded into proper delegation via Role Semantics for online clan organization is key to streamlining decision making in indigenous modes of consensus. Helping to navigate gridlock, without compromising integrity.
Metagov + Native Protocols = Multiscale Governance Sustainability
The three warnings systems can fractal out across the entire Five Nations Confederacy. The Kanien’keha have a 3 clan system of Turtle Wolf & Bear — of which there would be a total of nine female rounds & nine male rounds totalling 18 rounds of deliberation on the proper solution forward. 48 rounds if it is relevant for the entire confederacy.
This warning system can be coded with python in PK policies to ensure proper delegation structures are in place for the variety of circumstances than can arise: violation of Stacks CoC for example. PK pinging the correct representatives for this warning system, may be deemed a Wolf clan specific policy for example — as its function is to gather the minds around whether a warning is needed officially or not.
Stacks Native + Clarity
Leveraging all this inside Metagov means great things for indigenous modes of checks & balances in representation of voices — beyond just Policykit & SC connections too! It will require some hard work by Hozz to bring Stacks Login, CLI & Stacks blockchain smart contracts to Metagov. Doing so will allow us to bring our Two Row Wampum PK constitution to Clarity smart contracts. This means a first for the Stacks ecosystem! Along with endless potential for secure bottom up distribution — on matrilineal terms — We can get the Great Law of Peace into 1s,0s as much as possible.
Few WIP/Finished Goals
- Decision Making Flow — Modified Vote Mechanism
- Roles PK Flow
- Consensus PK Flow
- Useful total Cred percentage bot (try it: !sitg)
But these tools can hopefully be leveraged to include as many nuances that come with Kanienke’ha’ka protocols for long term social organization, trade or exchange that we need along the way. We can ensure the constitution of PK policies speaks accurately to indigenous clan roles design, documented in PK and executed in PK platform actions. We are super grateful and excited for all this collective work and it’s potential! Thank you kindly.
Few Wishlist Goals
- Intrinsic value(s) Tracking via DaDa’s visualizations
- Full Two Row PK Constitution
- Metagov + Stacks Clarity
The next part of this series on matrilineal indigenous modes of organization — the beauty of the concentric circle settlements of the Kanienke’ha’ka and what it can mean for online communities sussing out horizontality & male dominance in decision making & power distribution.
Concentric Circles of Peace
Buffalo are hooved animals that migrate so long that they even mate while on the move! Their hooves also make for a great deal of dirt that is kicked up into wind streams that go right over Europe — where the dirt is then deposited. The same happens for the dust of African deserts, picked up and dropped off in an other wise overconsumption heavy Amazon rain forest. And while the latter still takes place today. The other former was brutally halted as a means for westward expansion and removal of native ways of life.
This is continent scale land modification and sustainability that was carefully managed by native nations here in the north of Turtle Island. This is the remarkable level of agency our ancestors of the good mind grew accustomed to over the millennia. And their concentric circles are an important key to understanding how such grand feats can be achieved again in our urgent times.
First we digress to Africa, another indigenous matrilineal hotbed of brilliant expressions of “living settlements.” Settlement design and engineering that looks every bit alive as the strains of life out of which they have grown. These aerial photographs tell the story of a matrilineal heritage being expressed via the systems in which people “work” & live. They were taken by Ron Eglash of the generative justice research group back during his fellowship at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal.
Self-organized African settlements serve as a profound visual of decentralized infrastructure, as well as an analogy for the importance of competent design in governance of such infrastructure. Which is extremely relevant to the world of De-Fi and blockchain based systems — but rarely discussed — decentralized architecture requires bottom up governance models for longterm sustainability.
A dictatorship quickly defeats the purpose of the decentralized settlements – what originally self organized around expanding adding structures for divorced women for example – quickly turns into vicious mechanism for control despite original intentions of fractal settlement architecture. Something we learned from Primavera & Ron, and felt obliged to enter this open source space.
Bottom up systems design are wholly unknown or new concepts to modern modes of social organization & economics alike. Indigenous modes of these systems is unfortunately more mysterious. We feel this may be important to the Stacks ecosystem to consider when moving forward with community value(s) preservation in mind.
Now back to the Kanienke’ha’ka & the concentric circles! The key here being the impact of matrilineal social organization on rate and efficiency of innovation. Unrivaled by even the industrial revolution when put in proper lens of long term sustainability.
The Three Sisters, corn, beans and squash are at the center of the the concentric circles. In the ceremonial garden, that encompasses the smallest circle, the council of the T’kontinakeratkawas — the spirit givers, the female council.
The outer most circle is the least directly modified land — hunting grounds, also where the men of the least refined temperament for peace reside — a temperament not conducive to prolonged presence among the women’s council as say a male chosen by the women as a representative or “best of us” or so called “chief” of a clan. Which only the women have the sole power to select for or remove eligibility - aotiiotensera T’kontinakeratkawas.
The Well from the previous post is the key here. Even the outer most circle of the settlements, which could also include adopted nations, protected nations, refugee nations etc. Have access right to the heart of the settlement — the women’s council process. This is possible through the Well. Anyone can lodge an issue in the Well — without stigma or prejudice as an outsider —
This is a transformative concept and mechanism for peaceful dialogue of different or even opposing views. The idea being a mechanism “to have access to the correction of all men in an instant;” as Kasitkansiio, Wolf Clan Speaker & emergency Representative, has recently said. As temperament is to be refined into a peaceful one if inside the women’s Longhouse. Each concentric circle requiring further polishing into peace.
The transformative potential of this design theme is evident in the innovation of food and landscape scale modification of even the land of the outer circles. The ceremonial garden being the laboratory of the women, giving us not only corn from a grass but also beans, squash, melons, peanuts, strawberries, cocoa, potatoes, pineapples, vanilla, avocado, peppers, tomatoes and others of course. The genetic changes communicated through the soil — allowed the lab to fractal out to a continent scale — as different nations came into peace at different times — the management of commons, by matrilineal councils enabled the beautification of an entire hemisphere.
It’s hard to know where some industry giants would be without potatoes & tomatoes in their meals or rubber in their brutal fields and factories. But it’s easy to see the innovative power is unmatched when compared, with unalienated value(s) circulation in all strains of life to boot… A design theme for innovation that hopefully speaks to folks in the Stacks ecosystem community on many levels.
Not everyone is a council person, some folks don’t want to be, others may not even be ready temperament wise. But while the Bears bring in new people or even nations into the concentric circles, as we are all medicine to each other — the Well ensures this medicine is welcomed warmly, able to learn without strict dogma, that often strips the desire to learn altogether as someone learns anything new —
In our next installment of these posts we will dive deeper into the details of consensus! The importance of the in between — the in between of the two rows on the Two Row Wampum belt — the in between of two different or opposing views — the in between of the two strands of the double helix of DNA — Hope to see y’all soon. Skennen Kowa --Great Peace