Sovereign Accountable Commons

18 Nov 2015

New Speech-Act Spaces

in Ceptr, Language, Mutual Sovereignty, Sovereign Accountable Commons

Cute Frankenstein CookiesThe US Constitution has provisions to protect freedom of speech and expression. Yet, I cannot declare myself a new name or identity and we cannot declare ourselves a new corporate entity. These kinds of statement can only be made by an official acknowledged by the state.

Why is this? Because it is a different type of speech act. We don't normally distinguish very clearly between statements of opinion and speech acts which declare new realities or agreements. And yet, they are different.

The reason I have to register a new name or a new corporation with the state is because I am asserting a new reality into a commonly held "legal space" which is intended to help us manage binding agreements with each other. By social agreement, my parents get to give me my legal name, and it is registered as such on my birth certificate and carried forward from there onto other identity documents of the state. For me to change the social agreement about my name, I have to take legal action as well as public/social action (publishing announcement in newspaper, etc.).

One of the things we see Ceptr providing is new ways of creating and asserting agreements -- spaces for binding speech-acts. Being able to store information which is digitally signed and countersigned into commonly held (by no individual but decentralized by a collective).  You could see these as alternatives to the existing law books and legislation. Laws for the members of that particular shared space or commons.