Science is open for everyone to participate. Today, much scientific enquiry is centralized around academic, corporate or charity entities. This could be seen as a product of the funding structure, intellectual property environment and the costly technical equipment and vast compute power needed to ‘make progress’. A LHC, Large Hadron Collider typifying this trend. Historically, this was not always the case, in the enlightenment era of the sixteen hundreds, saw the gentleman scholars and Merchant barons providing most of the scientific discoveries through experiments in their own homes or buildings. More recently, Albert Einstein while connected to academia made most of this breakthrough discoveries while working as a clerk in a patent office.
The World keeps evolving and the exponential trend of technological innovation is re-making an environment that again more resembles the egalitarian scientific era of the 16th century. Just like back then, there was a lot of self-experimentation. Experiments diligently written down and results calculated by hand. The scientific method being applied though peer review, often show cased at the Royal Society in public lectures. The gentlemen/woman scientists often self funded from family wealth or ties to Royalty and the self made Barons had profits to fund their experiments. Today, Government grants, profits from commercialization, charity donations or philanthropy make up the vast amount of scientific funding but with the costs of sensors plummeting and wide ownership of computers the scientific common can become more decentralized again. How will science be paid for in our digital world?
Governments generate income from taxation to fund public goods. Can a Decentralize Sensor Mapping Protocol, a peer to peer software infrastructure that allows anyone to participate in science also tax participants in the network to pay the people involved in building the protocol? The issue with taxation is that the link with value is disconnected. The emerging sharing or gift economy is giving examples where those participating in society will gift or pay for the value they perceive and actually value, peer to peer. The book Sacred Economics is and writes on this economic model. The open source projects of Bitcoin, MaidSafe, Ethereum, have all use crowd funding to build commons software and network infrastructure. Dsensor can follow this trend. These crypto-projects chose accompanying economic models based on scarcity though finite money supply creation. This also provides these projects with an incentive mechanism to keep their commons honest, no central bank manipulating money supply via QE (quantitative easing), provide a pricing mechanism to pay app developers and those providing storage (farming) or to prevent a Dapp hogging all the compute resource on a EVM blockchain. Science is based on abundance and freedom to participate so these mechanisms do not fit with a commons for science.
The software, documentation and content for Dsensor is not going to write itself so we must look to find a path that allows people to get paid in the build out of the protocol and keep it maintained once launched. If you have ideas on how to achieve, please get in touch. aboynejames