Are you the kind of person who skims the beginning just to see whether to read the entire thing? You’re in luck.
We’ve prepared one sentence, one image, one thousand word, and one essay summaries of the concepts behind startup societies and network states. Just click those links if you’re impatient. And of course, for the full experience, you can read it one page at a time.
Speaking of pages, every section of this book is online and shareable as an individual web page. For example, the URL to this section is thenetworkstate.com/preamble. This allows you to link directly1 to any bit of the book for discussion. Moreover, unlike the typical book that’s frozen in time, think of this as a dynamic bookapp that gets continuously updated. You can see the latest version online, or you can follow the instructions at thenetworkstate.com/kindle.gif to get the latest version on your Kindle.
When reading it, think of this work as a toolbox, not a manifesto. You don’t need to agree with all of it to get something out of it. We’ve structured it in modular form for that reason. Chapter 1 is an overview of the ideas. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 present an analysis that leads to a concerning forecast for the near future, the problem of American Anarchy and Chinese Control. And Chapter 5 presents our proposed solution for maintaining liberal values in an illiberal world: startup societies and network states.
If you’re a partisan of the US establishment or the CCP, you may not agree with our problem statement at all. If you’re an orthodox Bitcoin maximalist, you likely won’t agree with every aspect of our proposed solution. And if you’re coming in from another school of thought, you may only agree with parts of the problem or solution as we’ve framed them. Nevertheless, we believe there’s enough flexibility in the idea of the network state that you can customize it and make it your own.
But what exactly is a network state?