The next revision of the DASH File Format Specification and File Intercommunication Architecture can be viewed here.
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.” — Aaron Swartz
These are the powerful opening words of Aaron Swartz’s Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, written in 2008. They set the tone for the beyond important scientific, technological and political activism and sacrifices that Swartz made, up until his deeply saddening passing in 2013. Swartz was an internet pioneer and amongst one of the most empowering contributors to computer culture, open source, and the core mantra that ultimately underwrites the entirety of web3; transforming industries, economies and markets through decentralised infrastructure so that anyone can gain access to the knowledge, information, tools and assets they need to level up and live a better life, outside of the control and injustices of centralised extractive gatekeepers.
And this Clarion Call from Swartz, as well as so many before and after him, is having its way most significantly now through the myriad of Decentralised Autonomous Organisation projects that have been establishing themselves over the past months; from protocol, to ecosystem, to curator, to syndicate style DAOS. DAOs turn their user bases into incentive-aligned, supportive communities with skin in the game, so that each participant can share in the upside — both financially and through expansion of utility.
The web3 world is built on community, where projects, protocols, dapps and more, rely on large networks driven towards achieving a unified goal. And this sentiment is further energized and catalysed with DAOs, whereby combined with the transparency of blockchain and the efficiency of smart contracts, accelerated collaboration and sharing of key knowledge is much more seamless and actionable, providing more opportunities for opening and democratizing access to information, resource and content.
Within DASH, the Open Source Community Incentive Network, operates as the core DAO for operations and governance, whereby scientists and developers alike are incentivised to contribute open models to the system in order to both receive financial rewards, as well as equally, if not more importantly, continue to lead the charge for ensuring the maintenance of open access and open science. DASH has always been architected in a fashion that ensures authenticity to the medium that it is building in, and the OSCIN strengthens this by broadening, through decentralisation, the developer, researcher and contributor base, so that the technical interoperability and composability of the system can continue to improve, as well as incorporate new ways for deliberately liberating our shared inheritance of the very scientific literature and content Swartz fought so hard to rightfully make free for all. Decentralising the information that gives so much of DASH its intrinsic and networked value means effectively distributing the power and ability for any one member to game the system for misaligned individual benefit, and privatise the code, materials and details so that this content ends up living behind a paywall, available only to a lucky few. And, to emphasise further, this is all too important in the academia and scientific communities, whereby “good academia” often perpetuates a corrupt system of bad ideas and selective evidence institutionalised by an old hierarchy controlling the grant money that funds the research to then hire and fund the next set of academics whose ideas are consistent with the prevailing paradigm… and so it loops.
The OSCIN ensures that the DASH architecture is open access by design — overriding the need for members to have to persuade those “in power” in order to fund and accelerate important work, let alone have it open.