Liquid Law is a term that I started to use around 2002 to describe a feature of the software I was working on for Liquid Democracy that allowed a group of users to be considered as a single entity for the purpose of voting.
Initial Thought Experiment
Liquid Law was part of a suite of experiments that I undertook to counter-act the tendency to diminish and impoverish real debate when conversation moves online. One early such thought experiment was:
The original thought experiment that lead to the development of Liquid Law was the question: How to Vote for Gandhi?
Another related idea was that a voter may wish to delegate decisions to a favourite book, or newspaper. These thoughts provoked many controversies, and doubts, but at the same time seemed to offer a great potential to extend political debate into a much more creative sphere.
The first formal work on this project began some time in 2002, following my frustrations with the rigidity of Liquid Democracy.
The main inspiration and motivation for the project, was my experience of creating artist led organisations in the late 90's, and a range of creative experiments with software and legal forms culminating in a commission for the Turkish Community in Stoke Newington (MYCP).
Later in 2004, I workshopped these ideas in a series of talks and experiments with the NetzNetz community in Vienna. This experience, confirmed the importance of getting the legal, conversational and democratic processes in place in parallel to the software development.
Liquid Law was presented at City Camp London in November 2010, where it was one of the winners of the pitching competition, and was entered for funding competition by NESTA and UnLtd where it came second. It was also a featured project of the DotGovLabs crowd sourcing platform, but again received no funding support.
# Recent developments
I proposed developing a DSL based on Liquid Law at Devcon Zero for the ethereum project. Since 2014 I have been focussed on creating a compelling use-case around which such a blockchain based DSL, could be used, while the technology matures.
There are a number of steps in this direction that have picked up pace in the last couple of years - Lexon looks interesting, and Open Language when it arrives could still have a place. The racket (programming language) looks like another interesting place to experiment.
This work structures the governance of any discipline as a viable system based around robust open identities secured using a new consensus algorithm we call Delegated proof of Expertise. This allows us to give substance to our aim of using Liquid Law as part of evidence based governance.
Currently we are looking to build these ideas, into a more conversational paradigm that we call [[Life-like Governance]. There are several elements to this vision, which I'll be writing up here in the coming months (2019). Philosophically, we look to creating a new for of Performative Science - which less prosaically we can call Evidence based governance.
Technically, we look to build upon Augmented Conversation, in order to create a motivated workflow capable of producing Common Law Algorithms, and other forms of techno-legal agreement. We could call this package of methodologies, and supporting tools Extreme Literate Programming.
# First Steps
Presently we look to build through a series of step-projects:
- Literate Wiki on Github - Review Literature - Worldscape Zoom Pilot - Minimal Viable Governance - Governance Journal Launch
We have started looking for similar thinkers and writers with the aim of engaging them in a series of Nomadic interviews during 2019. Here we write out research notes and updates on the progress of these interviews:
let's arrange an interview in the coming months? Reference to his 1996 talk - - Natural Genetic Infrastructure would be a good starting point.
# See also
Derived from Liquid Democracy. Law and constitution based on the networks of trust and delegation. Concept somehow similar to decentralised consensus, however it does include trusted third party.