It starts by asking the question, what does your ideal society look like?
Okay, now, with that in mind, empirically what societal arrangement is the best way to bring that situation about, while also hedging against failure modes like becoming evil despots and committing genocides in the name of building a better world?
Origin is an attempt to build that society. Whatever arrangement works best for building the ideal, stable, happy, just, and free world, those are the things we should be doing. We should also be working to constantly come up with ways or doing better, iterating on what we’re already doing, updating, improving, and discarding the outdated elements.
A good description of what exactly Origin is, comes from the novel Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. In that novel, set 400 years in the future, all the geographic nations have sort of…melted into the internet.
Everyone travels the world freely and goes wherever they want, roughly, and instead of nationstates formed by geographic boundaries and maintained with force of arms, there are nationstrats, formed by voluntary association through the globe spanning internet.
Origin is such a Nation strategy. It’s similar to the Asgardia project, that attempted to form a ‘space government’ online, only…they kind of did a bad job of managing things despite having a ton of resources to throw around and that whole project seems to currently be on fire for no reason than poor management.
In a sense, 4chan is a proto nation-strat, it’s a collective formed by voluntary association online for the purpose of…whatever it is they do there, it seems to vaguely resemble social interaction? I don’t quite see the appeal, but as the internet ages and becomes more substantial, and the API layer gets thicker, more things like this are probably going to start popping up.
Origin is an attempt to empirically derive the optimal community arrangement through a combination of social engineering, sociology, and anthropology, and then live in those ways that seem to be optimal.
Origin draws heavily from the existing rationality community, but it’s designed from the ground up, from an anthropological perspective, to meet human and community needs, and fulfill human values.
We ask questions like, “what does a society or a culture need to do to achieve its values while not being abusive or exploitative?” and “What things do humans need by virtue of being human to be happy and fulfilled and how are we meeting those needs as a community?”
What are the biggest problems facing humanity and how can we help to get past them? What arrangement of beliefs and mythologies does the best job of leading people towards an accurate description of reality while also fulfilling their needs as humans?
How do we prevent our ideas and our movement from being used from evil 200, 400, 1000 years in the future? How do we ensure that if things start to go bad, they fail gracefully in the way that does the least damage to other people?
We don’t have the answers to all these questions yet, but asking the questions is the first step to finding answers.
Origin is, at the end of the day, a community formed by voluntary association, currently online, but hopefully in the real world as well some day. We adhere to the best rules we can come up with for managing ourselves and our community and cultivating our garden, and we constantly try to iterate on what is best so that we can do more for each other and the world at large. We’d love for you to join us and help us build this into something real. Until then, stay safe and stay strong. May we meet again.