Category Archives: Hierarchy

Heterarchical systems vs hierarchical systems

Unnecessary hierarchy and artificial scarcity are a major source of problems in the world.


In hierarchy there you’re either a boss or a worker, a master or a slave.


In heterarchy you’re a master and slave at once, and as much or as little of each as you choose to be.


In heterarchy you’re a client and a server at the same time, like Bittorrent if you’ve ever used it. You download and upload simultaneously to increase the utility of the distributed heterarchical network,


In some situations hierarchy may be necessary and when it is not coercive in nature then an individual can choose how much and what form they require for survival. In a world of scarcity hierarchy is necessary to determine who can access or use the limited resources. The digital world is not a world of scarcity, and artificial scarcity produced by copyright, software patents and ownership of ideas enforces an unnecessary hierarchy.

Governments support this unnecessary hierarchy in a desperate attempt to protect the jobs of an entitled few. As we face a future of technological unemployment, intelligent machines, complete with distributed governance, we have to develop new systems to encourage innovation to replace copyright which is broken completely.


The origins of any new idea are unknown and can never be proven definitively


If Alice owns a patent it is not proof that Alice created the invention or that she owns the idea. The idea could have been stolen from Bob or anyone else and given to Alice. For this reason the patent system is broken and cannot serve the purpose of rewarding innovation when there is no way in the world to know the true source of an innovation. Ideas have no owners.