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Infinite Loops

Nov 30, 2023

Tim Beiko, who runs the core protocol meetings for Ethereum, teams up with writer and consultant Venkatesh Rao to discuss their “Summer of Protocols” research program. This initiative brought together 33 researchers with a wide range of expertise to investigate protocols across several domains.

Join us for an in-depth exploration of protocols: understanding what they are, their importance, why they can go wrong, and much more!

Important Links:

Show Notes:

  • Why We Should Care About Protocols
  • Protocols, Narratives & World-Building
  • The Three Preconditions of a Protocol
  • "Civilization progresses by increasing the number of actions we can do without thinking about them.”
  • When Protocols Go Wrong
  • More Protocols = Less Agency?
  • Workplace Safety & Protocol Complexity
  • How to Build Good Protocols; Building Protocol Literacy
  • Why Aren’t More People Talking About Protocols?
  • How to Encourage Protocols-First Thinking
  • Protocols Have Long Timelines
  • Protocols in Fiction
  • Protocol Hunting In Silico
  • Determinism, Open Environments & Evolution
  • How to Hack Protocols
  • Agility Isn’t Always the Answer
  • Memory: The Most Valuable Asset in a Civilization
  • Next Steps & How to Learn More
  • MORE!

Books & Essays Mentioned:

  • The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates; by Howard Bloom
  • Hope Runners of Gridlock; by Simon de la Rouviere
  • High Rise; by J.G Ballard
  • The Drowned World; by J.G Ballard
  • The Drought; by J.G Ballard
  • A Burglar's Guide to the City; by Geoff Manaugh
  • The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering; by Frederick Brooks
  • In the Beginning Was the Command Line; by Neal Stephenson
  • Slow Ideas; by Atul Gawande
  • Nakatomi Space; by Geoff Manaugh
  • Base Layers And Functional Escape Velocity; by Vitalik Buterin