Questioning the Unquestioned - The Role of Inquiry in Web3's Adoption

Rohit Malekar

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After basic material needs are taken care of, the quality of life depends on the quality of our thoughts. The quality of our thoughts depends on the quality of our questions. What hinders our ability to ask high-quality questions? Assumptions. Conformance. Compliance.

The most exciting thing about web3 for me is we are asking the right questions at scale - about decades-old monolithic control-first institutions and whether tech alone can be the savior against that baggage from the past. And it is through these questions we can get more people excited about web3.

Because in a perfect world, a user wouldn't have to worry whether their experience is powered by web2 or web3 technology; just like today, when we use email, most of us aren't aware of the protocols and extent of decentralization in the underlying infrastructure.

But in a perfect world, we do need to worry about a few other topics. Questioning the "control-first" setup of our social, industrial, and political institutions is one way for a non-tech person to embrace web3. Here's a tiny slice of the context of our digital lives:

  • Who owns and controls my data?
  • How is my data being monetized?
  • Can I trust the information I find online?
  • What happens to my content if a platform I rely on shuts down or changes its terms of service?
  • How can I participate in the platforms and services I use?

There are similar questions in many facets of our lives as consumers and citizens:

  • In certain countries, why is there a weak correlation between policyholders' financial well-being and the margins of a health insurance company?
  • How much say do the most vulnerable in our societies have in how the government implements social welfare?
  • Why does it feel that every other gig economy platform is merely an efficient intermediary at best for the real work put in by partners?

These are not new questions. Web3 happens to be the latest tool to try to attempt finding answers. Most social, political, and industrial institutions have emerged in the last 200 years. It's been a few tiny minutes on the clock in the grand existence of humankind. If we can't question their design, we are destined for a future constrained by the past. And along with it, the quality of our lives.

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