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SoP 2024 Cohort, Chris Dixon Town Hall

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 1st at 1PM Eastern Time, Chris Dixon will be joining the SoP Town Hall for a Q&A! Chris is the author of Read, Write, Own and is the founder of a16z crypto. Prior to that, he launched and led two startups – SiteAdvisor (acquired by McAfee) and Hunch (acquired by eBay).

Tune in here.

Welcome the 2024 SoP cohort!

After a tough process of evaluating many excellent proposals, we have finally picked the 2024 Summer of Protocols grantees. We have awarded 4 Protocol Improvement Grants (PIGs):

  • Autonomous Realities, Botao Amber Hu and Yisi Liu. A meta-protocol based on permissionless, virtual realities independent of users, which create layers of new ‘nature’.

  • Shoreline Adaptations to Flooding in Urban Waterways, Celeste LeCompte and Danielle Butler. This protocol improvement will examine and map responses to sea level rise and flooding on urban shorelines.

  • End-to-end Encryption in ActivityPub, Evan Prodromou and Tom Coates. An extension to the ActivityPub protocol to enable correspondents to securely send and store packets.

  • Fire Protocols: Attention as Autopeietic Space, Jiordi Rosales and Nathalia Scherer. Improving prescribed burning protocols in order to scale preventative fires in the state of California and beyond.

We have also awarded 2 Protocol Orienteering Grants (POGs) with somewhat rescoped parameters relative to the original call for applications, suited to more exploratory, pathfinding goals:

  • Plurality in Practice, Rich McDowell and Martin Benedikt Busch. An experimental validation of more plural approaches to quadratic voting, particularly collection-oriented cluster match.

  • ARC Regenerative Communities Protocol, Kaliya Young and Day Waterbury. A study of existing regenerative communities and their pattern languages, in order to document the protocols at work in those communities.

PIGs and POGs are both intended to advance our fundamental understanding of protocol entrepreneurship. You can learn more about the PIG and POG projects here.

We have also awarded 30 Pill Incepting Lore and Literacy (PILL) grants. These projects will be looking for ways to "protocol pill" a wider audience. You can learn more about them here.

The cohort will have a total of 37 participants, a slight increase from last year. The focus of this cohort is protocol entrepreneurship (PIGs), pathfinding (POGs) and protocol evangelism (PILLs), building on last year's focus on basic conceptual exploration.

Hop on the forum and say hello to the 2024 cohort, and share your initial thoughts on their various projects!


Notable readings

As everyone ramps up for a productive summer, it's a good time to do some immersive reading. We recommend two places to hone your thinking.

First, the forum's Protocol Watch and Reading of the Week (ROTW) sections. Getting into the habit of identifying protocols is a great way to build protocol literacy. And the ROTW provides a regular stream of articles from a variety of domains.

Last week, we read why everything is turning into a game and a paper that sought to model death spirals (when ants get stuck marching in a circle) in human societies, economies and organizations.

Our second recommendation is to revisit cornerstone protocol literature. This top-10-style list is a good place to start. At the moment, we're aiming to seed interest in protocol entrepreneurship. So we hope you shift into tinkering quickly after getting a feel for the subject matter.


Last week's guest talk

Toby and Kara, researchers from SoP23, took over the Protocol Town Hall to share their project, Unprotocolized Knowledge. In this talk, they riff on classic philosophy and apply their theory to wonky modern phenomena like the seed oil wars!

Their essay is also live online – check it out.

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