Contribute to 1729

Our written material is a blueprint for a network state: namely, a VR social network with an integrated cryptocurrency, a sense of national consciousness, and a plan to crowdfund territory. Yet our goal isn’t simply to describe this concept, but to actually create the first network state, which we are calling 1729 after the Ramanujan number.

Towards that end, we’re developing the virtual environment, content, and code underpinning 1729 as an open source project at gitlab.1729.com. We coordinate asynchronously through mattermost.1729.com and conduct synchronous meetings in virtual reality twice a week at vr.1729.com. During these sessions, we discuss recent book chapters and give an overall update on the 1729 project. And everyone gets a minute to present on what they did since the last meeting to help build the first network state.

What We’re Building

But what exactly are we building? Our first goal is to gradually turn our existing VR lecture hall into a user-extensible virtual university, kind of like a combination of Wikipedia, Coursera, and VR. The reason is that while cities in the past were founded near rivers or coal mines, tech-focused cities today are built around universities. And so a digital city would be built around a digital university. Moreover, we’ll need a university to educate the people who’ll help us materialize the network state in real life, as such an endeavor will draw not just on computer science, but on everything from art to architecture to mechanical engineering.

You might also ask: why develop this as an open source project? Well, if it becomes successful, people can fork 1729 to build their own network state or at least use it as inspiration. 1729 is the first network state, but should not be the last.

What Contribution Entails

You can contribute to 1729 in one of three ways: code, content, or coordination.

  1. Code. There’s plenty of code to write. The first thing we need to do code-wise is turn our existing VR environment into something users can easily modify, such that we can start parallelizing virtual content creation. We’ll also want to hook our virtual environment up to a blockchain such that we get the rudiments of a virtual economy.

  2. Content. This means creating media of all kinds. That means virtual buildings in our VR environment of course, but also blog posts, art, videos, memes, publications, games, films, slide decks, really anything that makes the case for technological progress broadly and the network state specifically.

  3. Coordination. This means community management, logistics, spreadsheets, and all the backend operational details required to manage a complex project.

The idea is that we want to involve content creators, engineers, and operational people alike from the beginning.

Apply to be a 1729 Contributor

While anyone can read the book (which is freely available to all), not everyone can become a contributor to the 1729 project. Part of the reason is that we can’t invest in training and onboarding a new person who isn’t serious. So that means we need to filter contributors somehow.

Now, we aren’t charging money to become a contributor, nor do we care if you have a pseudonym or a famous name. Instead, we will evaluate your application on the basis of whether you can contribute code, content, or coordination towards building the first network state. Please apply below.