Let’s put our imagination to work today. Imagine somewhere in the future, a few generations from now, a descendant of yours is watching his ancestors’ life play out in front of his screen equivalent, in much a similar manner as we watch a movie today. The ancestor’s spending habits, their shopping preferences, their individual weaknesses, their character, their words, their images, their whole lives, day by day or even hour by hour, all assembled from their personal data that resides on the blockchain. All this data, assembled meticulously by algorithms mining the vast expanse of past data, now public for all to scout, and replaying them back to you.
You can see all of it, distant relatives, how they interacted with the world, who they helped, who they didn’t, what those actions and effort resulted to, in a straight line, coming right back to you, and not stopping there.
How will we deal with the knowledge and certainty we’re part of a chain of events that started long before us and will go on for much longer than us.
How will we feel about all the opportunities missed by our forefathers, their indolence, their addictions and their ignorance, their regrets and the good or evil they wrought upon the world.
Now imagine you can do the same to the political leaders of that time, the corporate tycoons, the criminals, the leaders of the church, and their families, traceable almost to today.
How would you feel about their descendants living in your time today ?
How do you feel about your long future descendants watching you now ? You are the first blockchain generation after all, even if all your interactions aren’t on chain yet.
If the blockchain becomes a voracious data neutron star, sucking all of humanity’s data into its Merkle roots and tendrils, and if we accept that (relatively) transient nature of cryptographic primitives across generations, such a future isn’t that unlikely at all. And that’s the working hypothesis of these posts, a conjecture on how that possible future may appear.
Because, for your descendants, from their first day on this planet, almost their complete history will be known (give or take the last century only), not just to you, but to everyone, same as everyone’s history and bloodline causality will be available to you. And that means you are no longer a clean slate, even as a baby, you carry all the past within you. So first you have to study it to know where you come from, and then you’ll have to face your karma while interacting with others. It stands within reason that you won’t stand trial for their potential crimes, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be implicitly judged for them. It doesn’t mean you’ll reap all the benefits of their actions, but you’ll probably be rewarded somewhat, at least in social perceptions.
You will be facing your forefathers actions, for better or worse, as they have impacted the world around them. You’ll be, for the first time in humanity’s existence, connected to everyone before you, in profound ways I doubt we can fully grasp yet, and that’s really important.
I feel that this will be of monumental importance for the continuum of humanity, the first time we can have a clear causal relationship between the past and the present, and that will change human nature.
And as we’ll see in the next post, it’s all about connection, of the past, to the future, to each other. And that makes all the difference!