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🔍 Intention

So, you want to take back the web? Who do you want to take it back from? Why do you want to take it back? What will you do with it once it's been handed over to your care?


More seriously, we are conditioned to value action and results over intention. We live in a global culture that emphasizes what we achieve rather than what we mean.

Actions are, in a sense, how we attempt to make the external world match our internal world. They're important, and what you achieve matters, but it is not the primary matter. If you are not clear about your internal world - about what you mean to do - you will never be satisfied with the external world. Unless you examine your own expectations, you will always be disappointed.

How can you hope to improve the world if you do not know how to improve yourself?

Our action-oriented culture, driven by results, encourages us to believe that life is about what we can expect of the world. However, the reality is that an honest, reflective life is about responding truly, in every moment, to what the world expects of you. This is only possible if you constantly practice awareness of your intentions.

This primary focus on intention and expectation is inspired by Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning, but you can find some version of it across nearly all the world's major wisdom traditions. We need not express it using spiritual or psychological language though, because this is all about developing the patterns of thought most well-suited to our particular context.

What's unique about web3 - about economic code which creates new trust spaces; expands the possible definitions of value; merges money and speech; and creates new constraints in which to experiment with freedom - is that we can encode our intentions, literally. Most importantly, the code with which we express our inner world and meaning then lives independently of us on a shared, global network where it will not change.

Revolutions always end up failing because they are reliant on people who are error-prone, corruptible, and whose priorities change over time. However, a smart contract I wrote that expresses a particular economic ideal, which is now deployed on mainnet, will remain there irrespective of what happens to me. There is no bribe or threat which can get me to change this. I literally cannot take it back, even if my life depends on it.

Timechains whose record of history cannot be reverted hold us to a higher standard of intentionality. Now we must develop the inner tools required to live up to our technology.