Stories from Network State Citizens
Real people, surreal stories & the importance of network states
Are network states a superior alternative to nation states? From the way things are going, it certainly seems so.
However, the most important aspect of a network state is not the fact that it exists today in the form that it does, but that its very existence has deeply changed the lives for millions of its citizens. I spent the better part of last year traveling the world and interviewing 36 people belonging to 61 network states, and the stories I've gathered have far exceeded my expectations.
Every one of these stories deserve to be told, and some are wilder & more entertaining than anything I could've come up with if I was making it all up. These are stories of hope, of love, of dreams achieved and sacrifices made, of freedom and despair, of alliances and betrayals, and I've had the time of my life capturing these down.
I hope to write a book about my travels someday, but till then, here are 2 brief summaries of the stories I intend to flesh out there. Hopefully, they make the case for why Network States are so important today -
Citizen of : Mohammedistan [A network state for those aligned with the traditional principles & cultural values of Islam]
Salman sits across from me as I click his picture, and I see the bright yellow light on his AR glasses turn on. He smiles a warm smile while introducing himself, but he hardly requires an introduction at this point.
Salman was the primary whistleblower of the Syrian-Afghan Nuclear Scandal. Guilty of leaking classified documents & open-sourcing classified large language models, Salman was sentenced to death in 2037. Seeking asylum, while still in Afghanistan, but being rejected by every nation state including his own, Syria, Salman was granted political asylum in 2038 by the network state of Mohammedistan, a network state that has distributed presence in both nation states of Syria & Afghanistan. Had it not been for powerful & rational individuals in the network state of Mohammedistan, who unanimously deemed his contributions useful rather than blasphemous, Salman wouldn't be alive today.
In the network state, Salman lives a free life, can travel to almost every country where Mohammedistan has a presence in, including Syria & Afghanistan, without fear of his safety & freedom. While in the Syrian & Afghan regions of Mohammedistan, Salman has to make sure he doesn't veer into borders outside the network state, where he's still a wanted man.
That doesn't bother Salman these days. He says he lives a happy life and proud of what he did. Initially, he was worried that he wouldn't get to see his family, but Mohammedistan allowed his family the same citizenship status that they have granted him.
Today, Salman works remotely from a Mohammedistan Network State region in Italy, teaching Augmented Reality OpSec to younger citizens who look up to him and hold him in high regard, but he travels often to network state regions of Syria to meet old friends & celebrate special occasions. When asked about why he chose Mohammedistan as his network state of choice, when other network states were willing to grant him asylum, Salman said that his decision was a symbolic representation that there was good in both nations and if that continues to prevail, there's hope for both nation states to repair the corruption of their leaders.
Mohammedistan's core team representatives had nothing but praise for Salman when I reached out for a comment.
Citizen of: MightyChondria [A network state where regulations don't hold back the progress of Science]
Jason, a citizen of MightyChondria, wakes up in the mornings and goes for a 1-hour run. People smile and wave at him during these runs, often going out of their way to wake up early just to see him. The small town of Decorah, Iowa is now entirely a part of MightyChondria and Jason has been instrumental in influencing that.
From a distance, Jason looks like a normal, fit 50-year-old. Other than some wrinkles on his face, some greying hair & a baritone voice, there are no visible signs of aging. From the picture above, if you had to guess Jason's age, what would you say it was?
Those who don't know Jason's story, would say he's 50, some even 40, and some keen eyes might place his age in the 60s. But all such guesses are wrong. Jason was born in the year 1935, which means, as of today, Jason is 107 years old. As he runs by the streets of Decorah, he represents a ray of hope for the aging population of not just Iowa, but for the world.
He is not the oldest living man in the world.
That title goes to Miamoto Wong [Pictured above] of Tokyo, who is currently 114 years old. But tests have shown Jason's biological age to be 51, almost 56 years less than his actual age. Just from looking at him, and then looking at Miamoto (who still looks fantastic for a 114 year old), it’s hard for me to believe that Jason is only 7 years younger than Miamoto.
Jason's story is a testament of the success that MightyChondria's longevity drugs have achieved, and what's possible when regulations and lobbying attacks from big pharmaceutical companies aren't allowed to hold back Science. Starting out as distributed DeSci DAOs with independent scientists around the world coordinating to advance longevity research, MightyChondria's transition to a network state has allowed it to build up it's own manufacturing infrastructure, data centres & a regulatory body that has clear guidelines and on-chain ledgers for fast, efficient processes. Instead of drug trials taking years and decades to materialize, as it still does in the world outside MightyChondria, drug trials only take a few days inside this network state.
Large Human Data Models (LHDMs) are trained & leveraged to conduct accurate trials, and results are available for everyone to verify & re-engineer on-chain. MightyChondria takes this a step further by collecting & analysing citizen data, and showing the risks & side effects of each drug to each network state citizen.
"People still have absurd biases when seeing these risks & probabilities," Jason says to me, as he unties his shoe after the morning run. "If, say, the probability of a drug's side effects are reduced from 0.002% to 0.001%, that's less desirable for people than if the probability of side effects are reduced from 0.001% to 0, even though the mathematical probability reduction is the same. Everyone wants absolute certainty."
I nod, as Jason smiles and says, "But hey, at least it's better than outside MightyChondria where every Big Pharma drug's absolutely safe and if you question the messaging & ask for research, you're labelled as a conspiracy nut!"
While Jason's skepticism of Big Pharmaceutical companies are reminiscent of a time when network states such as MightyChondria was under strategic smear campaigns funded by those corporates, times are slowly changing and MightyChondria's success has gone on to push these large companies towards better business practices. Another striking reason why MightyChondria's been able to scale up so efficiently is because of it's funding, funded primarily by large donations from billionaires around the world who have recognised the need for such an alternate state. These funds go primarily to compensate scientists, who earn 50 to 100 times more than their nation state counterparts, but the acceptance criteria for scientists are also extremely high with on-chain Proof-Of-Composable-Work checks being the primary filter.
Thus, MightyChondria is currently home to the best scientists of the world, who are the highest paid in the field & they’re all working with the most cutting-edge equipments available in the world right now. All these factors seems to have resulted in a network state that's accelerating towards achieving human immortality.
That, I think, is a worthy cause that deserves a lot of attention. I spent the day with Jason, getting to know this kind, intelligent & ambitious human being who has plans to start a gesture-controlled decentralized drone company soon. As someone who has been awed by the progress drones have made in the last 10 years, I can’t wait to see what Jason comes up with.
As I left, I thought of MightyChondria, and how the existence of one network state is the sole reason I could talk to Jason today. Without the network state's existence, Jason wouldn't be alive right now.
This also made me think of the millions who are not here anymore, who would've been alive had network states like MightyChondria started earlier. How many great companies did we miss out on, because these people couldn’t live beyond an age of 80 or 90? How many great inventions could we have had? How many great companies could have been started? How many great stories were left unfinished?
I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know this- if a network state is helping us stay alive longer, it deserves all the success it’s getting.
I have 34 more stories to share about more network states, some of which contain twists and turns akin to a modern adventure novel, and I can’t wait to share them with you. These are stories about citizens of the network states of Phoenicia, Tranzax & Aliodin, stories about normal people people with extraordinary tales that haven’t been told yet, but they all deserve to be.
But if the stories above prove anything, it is the importance of network states to humanity as a whole.
There are some clear advantages that network states have, whether that’s the entrepreneurial spirit that comes ingrained among those building one from scratch, or whether it’s easy to exceed our expectations when we’ve been used to an inferior nation state system all this while.
One thing is for sure, network states are innovating & progressing faster than anything we’ve seen in recent history.
The majority of nation states are democratic today, and it is well known that the purpose of a democracy is not always to elect the best leader, but to vote the wrong leaders out. Unfortunately, that benefit gets lost when people cannot self correct.
In over 175 major democracies today, regime change hasn't occurred happened meaningfully in the last 10 years. As the trend of socio-narcissism rises, and people tend to believe how they voted was right and the outgroup is always wrong, there is little room left for self-correction. Mass metaverse socials have algorithms designed to reinforce existing beliefs instead of exposure to alternative perspectives, which could also help keep the flywheel of decade long regimes going.
Any human being would be complacent if there wasn't any meaningful threat to their rule in a decade, so I can understand why nation states aren't progressing as meaningfully as they should have.
But there's hope in individuality, and as long as individuals continue to choose their own network states, everyone else would recognize the benefits of doing so, and an organic market would force existing regimes to behave better.
If you haven’t joined a network state today, I hope the stories above nudge you to try them out.
Join a few, explore and find out which ones you like. Ask your friends which ones they’re in, and what they recommend. There are around 88 network states active today, some very large, some very small, some open-to-all, and some with strict citizenship requirements. It’s very unlikely that you won’t find a network state that’s just the right fit for you, but in case there isn’t, you can do what everyone should do when they don’t find the right network state, but they have an idea of what an ideal network state should be-
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