Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Delta Team Evokation,

Our Evokation will consist of an experimental cyber state in the form of an AR.



Here is an idea that is more than a little ahead of the curve. It's one that you might want to wrap your brain around. Feedback is always appreciated.


A Darknet is the system that runs an autonomous social network (a tribe, a constellation of resilient communities, a gang,
etc.). It is composed of a software layer and hardware infrastructure
that connects, organizes, allocates, and automates the functions of the
synthetic social system it is built for. Some details:

  • Software can be built that automates the rules by which any social and economic system operate. Nearly any social construct imaginable can be automated (at least on a small scale). Whether it works efficiently
    or is appealing to recruits is another story entirely. Early
    experience in MMO games and social software development indicate that
    this is not only possible, but probable.
  • The networks hardware and software infrastructure ensures that all members of the network are provided access to the system and the tools necessary to use it effectively. It is also constructed in a way that
    makes it opaque to outside observation and impervious to non-members or
  • This system, both economic and social, runs both in parallel and in conjunction with the global economy (the environment). It is self-referencing, autonomous, and willing to defend its own interests.
    It can be parasitic or additive to the global environment (or more
    effectively: both). It is competitive with other entities that operate
    within the global environment, from nation-states to corporations.

"Darknet" is a term used by Daniel Suarez, in his books Daemon and Freedom (TM) (see review).
Many thanks to Dan for providing the cover necessary to explore this



For those of you that have been reading this weblog for years. You already know that I've been advocating that people start building resilient communities (RCs).* Why? Resilient communities will:

  • Shield us from increasingly frequent shocks and breakdowns of an out of control global system.
  • Protect us from predatory and parasitical non-state actors -- from globe spanning banks/corporations to local/transnational militias/gangs.
  • Provide us with a path that will allow us to thrive -- economically, socially, individually, and spiritually.

Unfortunately, nobody is going to help us build them.

The nation-state can't and won't. It is losing power across the board as the global system strengthens. Organizationally, the nation-state has lost
control of its finances, borders, media, economics, use of force, etc.
Worse, moral and ideological moorings that served the nation-state well
for hundreds of years have rotted away. The nation-state is now
adrift, unable to orient its decision making cycles.

As a result, the nation-state has been largely co-opted by increasingly powerful non-state entities -- from parasitical banks that sit astride core
functions of the global system (they profit from the ability to distort
core financial and economic functions to manufacture virtual "wealth")
to transnational gangs that puncture borders with drugs and other
smuggled goods -- and that corruption is spreading. Nothing can get
done at the nation-state level anymore and what does get done (as the
recent health and finance legislation in the US proves), is only being
done to drive forward profitability in parasitical firms or sap our
resources (making us more vulnerable to predation by local threats).
Worse, nation-state bureaucracies are becoming more insulated and
focused on self-preservation by the day from the institutional level
down the individual government employee contractor.

So, what can we do? Attempts to bootstrap resilient communities are definitely possible. However, isolated and
small, I fear these efforts will either result in a reduction in the
quality of life for its participants or quickly fall prey to
parasites/predators (as in, you won't get far if bankruptcy,
privatization, and gangs-disorder guts your community).

The dominant solution to all of these pitfalls, dangers, and threats is to team up. Create a virtual tribe that helps communities become resilient
-- by financing, protecting, and accelerating them. While its
possible to build a virtual tribe via a completely ad hoc process, the
best way to build platforms in software that make the growth of tribal
networks fast and easy. If we can build these software platforms, we
can turn the transition to resilient communities from a process prone to
high rates of failure, into a process that spreads virally* and
generates immediate improvements for its participants. A vibrant future
awaits, all we need to do is build it.

NOTE: As soon as I get some cash flow, I'm going to self-finance the building blocks of these platforms. I'll do what I can, but if there is someone with deep
pockets interested in changing the world (for the better) reading this,
here's a chance to do it. Also, given the number of people that have
sent me e-mails expressing their intent to join in, we won't be short of
high quality talent to work on this.

*Virally, as in the growth of self-reinforcing networks and not the diminutive sense of viral content/site traffic.



"However, at this point the presentation breaks down. McGonigal then proceeds to think of ways gamers can be used to do things (which plays well with the users at TED). While I
give her props for thinking about ways to generate ideas on how to fix
global problems, she entirely misses the big idea.

Here's the big idea. For active online gamers real life is broken. It doesn't make any sense. Effort isn't connected to reward. The path forward is confused, convoluted, and contradictory. Worse, there's a
growing sense that the entire game is being corrupted to ensure failure.
So, why play it?

They don't. They retreat to online games. Why? Online games provide an environment that connects what you do (work, problem solving, effort, motivation level, merit) in the game to rewards (status, capabilities,
etc.). These games also make it simple to get better
(learn, skill up, etc.) through an intuitive just-in-time training system.

The problem is that this is virtual fantasy.

So the really big idea isn't figuring out how to USE online gamers for real world purposes (as in the dirty word: crowdsourcing -- the act of other people to do work for you for FREE -- blech!).
Instead, it's about finding a way to use online games to make
real life better for the gamers. In short, turn games into economic
darknets that work in parallel and better than the broken status quo
systems. As in: economic games that connect effort with reward.
Economic games with transparent rules that tangibly improve the lives
of all of the players in the REAL WORLD.

This isn't tech utopian. It's reality. The global electronic marketplace

and the political system that currently dominates our lives is at root a

game but with hidden rule sets. As a result, it's a game that is being run

for the benefit of the game designers to the detriment of the players.

The reason we keep playing is that we don't have any choice. Let's invent
something better and compete with it. Let's provide people with a choice."


Delta Initiative members so far:

0- Sarah O'Connor -----------Argentina
1- Panamericana -------------Argentina
2- A.V.Koshy,----------------- India
3- Samiran Roy--------------- India
4- NomadHAR----------------- USA
5- Jeremy Laird Hogg------- Canada
6- Patricio Buenrostro ------Mexico
7- Matvey Ezhov------------- Russian Federation

Views: 33

Comment by nomadHAR on May 7, 2010 at 11:58pm
i have experience with both web programming (front and back end) and MMO programming. i would be up for helping out with this.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 8, 2010 at 12:18am
Paul Virilio: Resistance is always possible! But we must engage in resistance first of all by developing the idea of a technological culture. However, at the present time, this idea is grossly underdeveloped. For example, we have developed an artistic and a literary culture. Nevertheless, the ideals of technological culture remain underdeveloped and therefore outside of popular culture and the practical ideals of democracy. This is also why society as a wh*** has no control over technological developments. And this is one of the gravest threats to democracy in the near future. It is, then, imperative to develop a democratic technological culture. Even among the elite, in government circles, technological culture is somewhat deficient. I could give examples of cabinet ministers, including defence ministers, who have no technological culture at all. In other words, what I am suggesting is that the hype generated by the publicity around the Internet and so on is not counter balanced by a political intelligence that is based on a technological culture. For instance, in 1999, Bill Gates not only published a new book on work at the speed of thought but also detailed how Microsoft's 'Falconview' software would enable the destruction of bridges in Kosovo. Thus it is no longer a Caesar or a Napoleon who decides on the fate of any particular war but a piece of software! In short, the political intelligence of war and the political intelligence of society no longer penetrate the technoscientific world. Or, let us put it this way, technoscientific intelligence is presently insufficiently spread among society at large to enable us to interpret the sorts of technoscientific advances that are taking shape today.
Comment by Sarah O.Connor Panamericana on May 8, 2010 at 12:46am
Thank you Nomad, added,
koshy, yes, incorporating the benefits of technology to real people's life.
Comment by Bonan Zhang on May 8, 2010 at 1:43am
are there any simple diagrams of 1. how a resilient community functions internally, 2. how a resilient community interacts with other communities, organizations, individuals?

if there aren't, i'd be happy to help you make some if you can help me answer those two questions
Comment by Sarah O.Connor Panamericana on May 8, 2010 at 7:10pm
@Bonan- Here is a link to a section of JR's blog that deals with that
within the general blog you can find further context.
Comment by Jeremy Laird Hogg on May 8, 2010 at 7:41pm
This is a really exciting idea.

I don't really know how I could fit into it, practically. I have no programming skill whatsoever. My knowledge of the technical side of cyberspace is rudimentary at best. I mean, I can type (60wpm), but as far as my technical computing skills go.

I might be able to create or edit content maybe. One thing I can give for sure is my endorsement: I really want to see how this thing goes. People *need* strong support networks for - as you nicely put it - moral empowerment.

Anyway, I'm on the Delta ning site, so perhaps as this carries forward we might find a way for me to contribute something concrete and practical.
Comment by Sarah O.Connor Panamericana on May 8, 2010 at 7:53pm
We certainly need non- technical people Jeremy,
just straight off the bat, you know how to think deep,
and about RPG's, Welcome.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on May 10, 2010 at 12:28am
Comment by Sarah O.Connor Panamericana on May 10, 2010 at 6:45pm
Who else is interested, inscription closing in two days :)
Comment by Matvey Ezhov on May 11, 2010 at 1:46pm
This concept is undoubtly the thing to be done, in this way or another. I'm in.


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