5 min read

Protecting Sacred Wisdom

I believe free access to information is vital to the health of our society and those of us with the technical skills and vision should deploy such insights to ensure that information is protected from the threat of authoritarian regimes and rogue political actors.
Protecting Sacred Wisdom
Image by cstreet | Tibetan Children's Village, Dharamsala, India 2006 | NFT available on Foundation.

Originally published in 2022 on my Mirror.

The Sacred Wisdom OnChain Project is a capstone project I’ve created to implement in the fall for my degree-- in yoga studies. I get the irony here, but I wanted to share my academic proposal here on Mirror to begin a dialogue that has been surfacing almost daily. Grab a coffee and get to reading….

My core question is as follows:

How can decentralized blockchain technology be utilized to protect, archive and support the translations and teachings from wisdom traditions so current and future generations can freely access this knowledge as a public good, while also providing support for scholars and source communities through the monetary and governance mechanisms inherent in blockchain technology?

The Sacred Wisdom project contains three core premises that I will explore and work towards the implementation of during my capstone project. The first premise is protecting wisdom tradition translations and teachings from the threat of market enclosures, commodification, disinformation and authoritarian political structures through decentralization of information. The second premise explores archiving wisdom tradition teachings so future generations can access the knowledge with no centralized gatekeepers or market forces controlling access. And lastly, I will explore supporting scholars and source communities through the creation of decentralized organizational structures that provide the technical and autonomous mechanisms to build and support communities through virtual gathering places and alternative economic modalities without middle men or gatekeepers in a global container accessible to all and built under the premise of the Gift Economy.

Image by cstreet | Dharamsala, India 2006 | NFT available on Foundation.

Why this matters...to me.

As a voracious consumer of information and seeker of knowledge, I strongly believe that the vital information of our ancient wisdom traditions should be protected and archived in a manner that allows free access to information for current and future generations. As a former journalist, I believe free access to information is vital to the health of our society and those of us with the technical skills and vision should deploy such insights to ensure that information is protected from the threat of authoritarian regimes and rogue political actors seeking to homogenize the public's spiritual beliefs into a radical and homogeneous religious container. As we witnessed during the Trump administration, this demographic of political actors are also threatened by information that encourages compassion, collective action and lifestyles that reject the core tenants of consumption-based corporate capitalism.

I had the great fortune to acquire much of my blockchain education from a small hacker community who freely shared their technical wisdom with me through the ethos of the Gift Economy. Most hackers philosophically believe in creating technology for the greater good, that their creations should never enter the marketplace, and they view centralization as a fundamental threat to the evolution of technology and society at large. That belief is also a foundational premise of the current blockchain technology movement and I believe strongly in embracing their approach and applying it to the academic community in a way that supports scholarship and protects vital wisdom from market enclosure and political forces. My heart breaks to see so many of my friends, who are professors at universities around the country, struggling to pay their bills and fighting for the resources to pursue their scholarship because their institutions funnel money to athletics and commercially funded scientific work.

Image by cstreet | McLeod Ganj, India 2006 | NFT available on Foundation.

Our society faces a multitude of threats to the free flow of information, from corporate control of centralized servers housing vital information for the advancement of society to the control of those servers by authoritarian regimes or rogue political actors. Additional threats exist from market enclosures of the academic commons and the lack of monetary support for scholars documenting the priceless knowledge from wisdom traditions.

I believe we, as academics and protectors of such priceless wisdom, can and should deploy emerging blockchain technologies to protect, archive and support the decentralization of translations and teachings from wisdom traditions. By leveraging blockchain technologies, we can ensure that the knowledge possessed in wisdom traditions will survive the chaotic political times we are living through and will be accessible to future generations.

Monetary support for both scholars and source communities can also be fostered through the alternative economic modalities inherent in this technology, allowing future academic projects to receive funding free from market enclosure commitments or commodification, creating a virtual community governed through autonomous blockchain voting mechanisms and giving source communities the option to raise funds through their wisdom and art to support their own communities.

Image by cstreet | Dharamsala, India 2006 | NFT available on Foundation.

I’ll be exploring this concept much deeper this fall and will writing an academic paper about the topic and hopefully implementing some aspects of the project to explore proof of concept and create a framework to be applied by scholars and those working with, producing or sharing vital information as a public good.

Proceeds from my NFT collections support my work in the public goods impactDAO ecosystem working to restore local media through decentralization at JournoDAO and my academic work studying and archiving wisdom traditions through decentralization. You can support the project by collecting these NFTs on Foundation.

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