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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Charles Holloway's Open Source Government white paper

The internet says Holloway coined the term "Open Source Governance" and he certainly has a command of the topic. He presents a nice stroll through history explaining the rise of governments and financial systems in terms even a third grader can understand, although he doesn't really mention the blockchain tech until around page 120.

He does introduce several shaky assumptions that appear to be predicated on his own original formulations, and interestingly (but questionably) claims freedom is quantifiable. In the second half of the paper he gets into the peer-to-peer and open source technologies and does a good job of explaining in layman's terms why this is important. 

Noteworthy: He claims "money and insurance are the two most fundamental technologies in society because society is a gathering of individuals to exchange property [he defines property as every sort of action or idea, not just physical things]." Cryptographic governance can replace hierarchical government because all a government really does is insure and protect property (life and liberty being forms of property, since you own yourself and your actions according to his formulation).  

I think this would be more widely read if he distilled it down to a much shorter piece, or even a series of op-eds. He also seems over-reliant on himself as an authority and there are few citations or quotations throughout, which will likely mean this isn't taken seriously. Nonetheless, it's a large and noble effort for a worthy cause that should be at least skimmed by anyone who wants a primer on the topic of open-source governance.

You can download it from his site or read it here:


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  2. Hey, thanks for the review, whoever you are.

    I've replaced the white paper with a book: "The End: The Fall of the Political Class." It is the first volume in a series on Open Source Government. It is available here:

    This first book is all about theory. The second book (which I've just finished) is all about application.

    For more info you can email me at: