Why this project is needed.
What are the goals of a healthy society? If they were being met within our current economic and governance models this project wouldn't have even been conceived.
The old ways of generating value through land expansion and extraction are now working against us. "Free" energy in the form of oil, gas, and coal, is ultimately unearned and such unearned labor inevitably leads to exponential consumption. Despite how much one may try otherwise, it's a mathematical fact: exponential growth can only lead to complete resource depletion in linear time. Nuclear energy only exacerbates the problem, both on the aforementioned technical point and on the socio-political spectrum: if one country has the power of the bomb, eventually the others will get skittish and want it too. Humankind has reached its Malthusian limits, there's no more territory to expand into to create value. Furthermore, we're all interconnected and interdependent now, we must shift from individualism to a more cooperative approach.
So what is the true source of value when the accidental bounty of the America (and the Earth's) resources comes to an end? What it's not: The emphasis on production (of physical goods) is churning out increasingly useless products of colored plastic, appliances designed to fail, and other monstrous waste.
The new arena for generating value in the, educated, global economic system is in inter-connection: intellectual and creative collaborations that fit within an ecosystem of the global community.
Unfortunately, our systems are way behind the times. They've been using tools of the old (physical goods) paradigm, like legal structures and law enforcement threats to protect goods that are not physical. This is a major deficiency and the creative classes have suffered immensely having to live in the fringes of an economic system that doesn't know how to provide or relate to creative goods except as fringe or accessory items ("for entertainment purposes only").
However, as learned by the lessons of the 60's and Thomas Kuhn, it's not enough just to complain about the system, one must have a compelling alternative. The Internet is the platform for that alternative, allowing a many-to-many communications network to ignite and unite humanity like never before. The pangaia project is its unifying application to create a system for sharing and rewarding creative effort.
The best idea for turning America's economic system around is to deal with its neglected history. We must turn to each other to create new value and correct the confusion and injustices of history. Our economic crisis show that society currently exists in a sort of limbo waiting for the next "phase transition", which will crystalize it and take it to the next level. The only way to create new value is to interconnect more effectively. The market alone won't do it -- it has too much inertia, designed around physicality and the movement of tangible goods. The Internet is a vital component to a new economy. At Pangaia, we're literally creating the nervous system for the Body of Mankind. The first Internet wave got quenched because it didn't quite know how to place itself in the vast social constructs called "History", but this time were studied and know what to do.
Put simply, the project aims to create new economic and governance models leveraging the communications technologies never-before available in the history of civilization, namely ubiquitous and pervasive inter-networking which has democratized masses of information and places everyone only a step away from each other, breaking, once and for all the limitations of geography and the nation-state. With that greater freedom comes the greater need to provide structure to those new organizations and orders, lest a new "tragedy of the commons" occurs within the intellectual arena.
The success of Wikipedia is one such example of the "creative class's" desire and need for greater personal and community participation. These aren't the old fashioned communities of yesteryear, defined by physical geography or job location and organized around "civic pride"; these are creative communities -- people organizing themselves due to "psychic" proximity rather than geographic. With this abundance of interest, there arises the need (as well as opportunity) to effectively connect all these people and sift though the mounds of information that it generates. Hence, the Pangaia project.
The Internet and our global society are undergoing a radical transition, evolving in parallel across many different internet locations. Each is fundamentally trying to answer the same question: How can one build an active community of billions of users without centralized control? The question is asked both politically and practically: It's simply not feasible to manually process and sift through everything and manage everyone using old paradigms and methodologies, nor is it desirable. When everyone can be their own publisher, one must give serious thought of how to give voice to all without drowning in chaos; most, like Wikipedia capitulate back into old-power techniques as the burden gets too high. Is it realistic?
Furthermore, there is the issue of many ideas, little interoperability. With the unified model presented here, applications and data will exist as one. Think of this project like this: before the Internet there were many disparate online communities (CompuServe, AOL, BBS's, etc) all with there special niches and users. The Internet came in and provided a unifying platform that everyone could agree on. This project is going to create the Application for the abstraction called "the Internet". ...beyond html, beyond Facebook, it will do for the creative and intellectual arena of "cyberspace"
In any case, one thing is clear: Our market system and democracy fall short of their ideals due to exploitation of information imbalances. Like any form of protectionism, this inefficiency hurts everyone--even, ultimately, the ones at the "top".
Finding ways to establish true merit, in real time, and the means in which to cultivate it and allocate decision-making authority are inherent in this Project as well as making an efficient marketplace and thriving society.
The old DNS model for organizing content is no longer adequate. The Internet has become too cliquish. Content is only indirectly related to domain names.