The Limitations Of DAOs

Yesterday’s article about countries versus DAOs sparked a bit of interest. I got a couple of interesting reactions via email (yeah, I have a bi-yearly newsletter, meaning I sent it when I remember). As I was answering to them, I realized there’s a direction which I didn’t explore on this topic. Namely, what’s happening if we go overboard with this tendency, or what are the limitations of DAOs.

The first thing that came to mind when I decided to jot a few thoughts on that was the automaton. An automaton is a beautiful craft of engineering which was quite popular (if only at fairs, or at weird exhibitions) a few hundreds years ago. It was what we would call today a “cyborg”, only it was completely devoid of any processing capabilities. Just a human shape, all made of many small metal pieces, who was able to move its parts (somehow) and even make some sounds (although this was, allegedly, by midgets carefully hidden somewhere inside).

And yet, many were fooled by the human shape and they actually bought in, to a certain extent, not only the engineering wonder, but also the idea that a bit of life, real life, was somehow hidden inside that contraption.

This is, in my opinion, the biggest limitation of a DAO. It mimics so well our expectations of a perfect society, that we may start to believe it actually is.

There is no such thing as a perfect organization. Whatever is man made, it will carry with it whatever the men put into it. It will perpetuate human condition, which is this invisible prison bordered by greed on one side, fear on the other, with a bit of a pleasure and addiction as floor and ceiling.

So, although I still believe DAOs will replace countries, and that will happen rather sooner than later, it will not necessarily solve all our problems. It will improve some processes and allow more creativity and innovation. Alas, inevitably, that creativity and innovation will eventually lead to another type of structure, which will replace DAOs, when the time will come.

While this happens, all we can do is to observe, and, why not, even enjoy the transformational process.

After all, that’s what sets us apart from an automaton: real emotions.

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