Historically, entities such as empires, nation-states, and corporations have been most equipped to fund and coordinate the large number of people required to build ambitious creative works, scientific discoveries, and explore the cosmos. These centralized and bureaucratic structures have led to a world with extractive policies, dystopian societies, and human alienation. When we look further back into history, into the architectural structures of places like Göbekli Tepe, we know that people are capable of organizing in alternative ways.
The goal of Black Sky is to allow self-sovereign individuals and communities to organize, fund, and pursue projects and research that will minimize dystopia and maximize cosmic harmony, with Black Sky serving as a careful custodian and resource for new knowledge, in addition to an engine of creation.
Minimizing dystopia and maximizing cosmic harmony may sound like broad sweeping statements. Black Sky does not claim to have a master plan on what that looks like. We created Black Sky Nexus to get closer to knowing and defining the potentialities in this design space.
Black Sky Nexus
Black Sky Nexus is a zine and wiki that acts as the evolving knowledge base of the Black Sky community. Paulo Freire wrote, “Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information.” Black Sky Nexus is education as transformation. Black Sky Thinking, as a term, was initially introduced by Rachel Armstrong in 2014 to describe speculative thought experiments to recreate real-to-life ecosystems. Black Sky follows this speculative visionary approach but focuses on organizations, not architecture. We combine speculation, world-building, and various creative experiments to consider new ways to support projects and research, giving everyday people a substantial platform and resources adjacent to existing corrupt power structures.
Black Sky Nexus uses holistic thought that counters the bourgeois logics of late-stage capitalism. We draw inspiration from the history of radical publications such as Mondo 2000, The Whole Earth Catalog, Extropy, and CCRU, and we look to include a range of mediums such as AR, embedded NFTs, physical zines, wikis, comedic content, and sci-fi speculation.
The following are some of the primary topics covered by Black Sky: cryptographic resources for large-scale networks of cooperation; bio-sovereignty: privacy, anonymity, and human rights; art as a generative source for knowledge; exploring the relationship between the individual, the ecosphere, and the cosmos.
Cryptographic Resources for Large-scale Networks of Cooperation
People have historically operated under the belief that humans and animals have a fixed limit to the number in their 'packs’, known as a Dunbar number, but nature has no limit. Plants and mycelial networks support massive networks of individuals and cross-species communication. Black Sky believes that new technologies and modes of communication can unlock the capacity for humans to access this natural ability to work at mega scales that large projects require.
Smart contract technology provides the connective tissue for humans to have enhanced organizational mobility. Smart contracts communicate algorithmically through an ever-evolving ledger of public information. Black Sky uses cryptographic technology to support organizing, collective intelligence, decision making, and provenance to assist self-sovereign groups build knowledge that promotes anti-industrial, democratic, ecological, and sustainable wellbeing.
Bio-sovereignty: Privacy, Anonymity, and Human Rights
Governments and corporations use technology to remove privacy and argue this is the price of progress. One of the core principles of Black Sky is that technology and privacy are both human rights and support one another. Human rights evolve and expand as we develop new technology.
While the European enlightenment brought us the idea of universal rights, only certain people, limited by gender and race, can access these rights. Today, technology also limits human rights. Black Sky wants to explore the relationship between technology and privacy and how to make privacy a foundation of new technology and assist in the development of technologies to support privacy, including anonymous participation and resistance to Sybil attacks.
Art as a Generative Source for Knowledge
In The Dawn of Everything, Graeber and Wengrow note how rituals and games are a testbed for new ideas, forms of organizing, and governance. Creating culture allows Black Sky to wayfind paths for minimizing dystopia and maximizing cosmic harmony.
John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern's classic The Theories of Games and Economic Behavior states that an opponent cannot predict a random strategy. Randomness is an act of resilience. Black Sky deploys unpredictable, comedic, memetic, satirical, and absurd content through the Black Sky Nexus zine. In this spirit of play, experimentation, and randomness, Black Sky funds projects and contributions to Black Sky Nexus around AR, cryptocurrency tokens and NFTs, innovative printing techniques, and creations that traverse the physical boundaries and extend the medium of the written word and artistic communication.
Exploring the Relationship Between the Individual, the Ecosphere, and the Cosmos
Cosmic harmony means that all parts of the cosmos are in a state of well-being, humans, plants, stars, and bacteria. For individual humans, our society has produced a crisis in care and illness. We have become susceptible to mental illnesses, chronic pain and autoimmune diseases, much of this informed by ideas of normative behavior and mental functions. Working holistically with one another, ourselves, and the world, we can work with new modalities for healing and wellbeing.
Additionally, as we move out into the cosmos, we can increase our capacity for connection and understanding. Humanity should have equal access to exploration and travel within the cosmos free of imperialist and colonial methods and goals. Space travel is one area that has always been controlled by governments or corporations. This control restricts our access to new knowledge and our ability to direct research and ask questions about ourselves and the cosmos. Black Sky is interested in exploring the role cryptocurrency and decentralized networks can play as we move off Earth into the cosmos.
Enter the Wormhole
We invite you to peruse Black Sky Nexus: Issue 00000000. We also welcome and invite individuals and communities to join our social space and discuss the articles or contribute to Black Sky. The Black Sky DAO launch is being planned on the horizon and we are especially seeking writers, software engineers, researchers, translators, and designers to enter the wormhole.~ Minimize Dystopia ~ Maximize Harmony ~
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We’re so grateful to DAOSquare and MolochDAO for the grants that gave Black Sky the momentum to deliver this resource. Lastly, if you purchase an NFT from the featured artists, 50% of the profits go toward Black Sky Nexus, and you'll be invited first to join the Black Sky DAO.