Digan / 01gan

aka Cryptans

What is it?

a community that values freedom, privacy and has formalized these ideas into a way of life

someone who only consumes clean, untraceable bits

in essence it's about investigating what it means to live an ethical digital life, similar to how veganism/vegetariansim offer a framework for thinking about and practicing ethical eating

Origin of name

a portmanteau of binary (or bits) and vegan - bigan. or maybe digan? digital+vegan

To Do List

  • Work on formal definitions for various levels of privacy
  • Create standard operating procedures for achieving specified levels of privacy
  • New software to
    • (1) make SOP implementation+compliance easier / practical for mainstream, and
    • (2) achieve new, higher, levels of privacy

Example of SOP

Random Bits

02013.01.18 - email to rgb

“portmanteau of binary (or bits) and vegan - bigan. or maybe digan? digital+vegan

someone who only consumes clean, untraceable bits

There is no reason to go with something that rhymes with "vegan" or uses "gan" as an ending aside from the fact that it may help people grok the term faster. but then you're also stuck with the baggage that veganism carries.

anyway, still noodling this one.”


“@mjoiii_neomail The ones who have privacy now are those who have done massive wrongs. Deep state spooks, torturers, banksters, dirty cops” @aantonop

02014.03.28 - email to rgb

“The very short version: Accepting crypto-currencies (perhaps not just bitcoin) is an ethical / aesthetic choice that complements the art. more than that, is required by the art. I'd tie this in to the vegan-like Cryptan principles I mentioned earlier. A new way of digital living, rules and principles for Life 2.0.”

02014 - email to rgb


Bigger pitcure. This is cypherpunk version of vegan. domain is available. didn't have the energy to work up a site for this but I think it's worth doing. this could catch fire.

some core principles. plus how to guides. and just clear stating a new idea whose time has come.

ok. signing off.

and from another email in the same string

“love the cryptans comments! ok, maybe it's a failed idea. Searching through my old email I guess I never shared the original version of this with you, I was calling it 01gan back then. I was thinking of it as a sort of formalization of cypherpunk principles, combined with some of the post-snowden fall out. It'd involve using free/open source software, free/open source hardware, Tor, cash/bitcoin. Basically a community that values freedom, privacy and has formalized these ideas into a way of life. It pulls together a lot of threads/trends that are already out there and distills them into a core set of principles and a way to apply those to your daily life. Given the geekiness of this kind of thing it seems natural to have some sort of rating/ranking system that takes all your behavior and assigns a Cryptan score. A principled approach to living digitally.”

02016.07.11 - email to rgb

great stuff from Arvind, basically captures my thoughts exactly:

There is research that shows that when people know they are being tracked and surveilled, they change their behavior. We lose our intellectual freedom. A variety of things we consider important for our civil liberties — say, marriage equality — are things that would have been stigmatized just a few decades ago. And the reason we got to the point where it was possible to talk about it and try to change our norms and rules is because people had the freedom to talk to each other privately. To find out that there are like-minded people. As we move to a digital world, are we losing those abilities or freedoms? That is the thing to me that is the question. That’s the most worrisome thing about online tracking. It’s not so much the advertising.

02013.07.18 - email to John Battelle


Code? I might as well skip straight to business models. $$$ drives code. That may be an overstatement but how many startups -- with any traction -- aren't focused on vacuuming up as much data as possible? And established players? Discussions I've had with folks like Yonatan Zunger, Chief Architect at Google (who I like and respect) make me think that Google and similar cos won't be leading the way on technical changes that will give users a high degree of confidence that their data is technically --- mathematically secure. I've looked at alternatives to the major internet players (Apple/Goog/MSFT) and making an attempt at becoming the equivalent of a vegan re privacy (a prigan? 01gan?) but it's daunting... Have you looked at the setup that Stallman is running recently?!? I value privacy but I'd have to give up my sanity to stay engaged and run a system like that. I'd also have to go back and major in CompSci. Whatever the answer is, my mom will need to be able to use it - and she's no crypto-anarchist coder.

Business models? I don't buy into the privacy is dead meme. At a conference a few years ago I suggested that people will respect their own privacy to the extent that they get paid for it. The idea was shot down by almost everyone but I think that there's room for a solution that will reward people with money, not free services. There's a couple of key dynamics at play: (1) the amount and value of the data are increasing. When google rolled out there wasn't a ton of value to be had there - just a few people searching on the newly born net. Now they've got data on our searches, emails, everything about our phones (location, etc...) and soon Glass. And now that Kurzweil is at the wheel of the engineering team I don't think it's too much to introduce previously wild thoughts, Brains in the Cloud and the like. I don't want a FISA court rubber stamping away the privacy of my consciousness... (2) I believe that the core free services of the web (email, search, social) are getting easier to replicate - like when Japanese cars came on the scene in the 70's and 80's. A lot of copying what's great, improving what's bad. So there's room to create a clone but to set it on top of a technical infrastructure that treats data/privacy differently from the start.

02017.10.11 - word doc

Digan Society A principled approach to digital living

Steps to Start just start doing it. and keep going.

Podcast Basics Commit, you must internally commit to doing it. Microphone Audio editing software (Audacity) Images / Graphics Intro/Outro Another resource on getting started And one more - with tips of speaking, etc. Who is the audience / dial in the subject

Interviewing Research: spend time researching the person, the subject Know your person being interviewed and how they overlap with the audience/subject-matter Get the technology right - make sure it’ll work. and that the result will sound good Prep 100 questions (The quest) We are on a quest together - to learn from each other, to help figure out what kind of world we want to create and then edit the questions Plan, but be relaxed and stay flexible. Go with the flow. some standard questions How did you get started? Where were you born? What did your parents do? What were your early influences? How did you develop you interest / skills? Who are the people your inspirations in this space? Key current people Most interesting idea in the last 6 months One thing that each person can start doing today to make a difference What is Freedom to you? and what are the limits? when do you think it is right, if ever, to curb an individuals freedom? What rights are you most concerned about? Any new rights that you think we need? How do we best protect them? What does your opsec set up look like? a trend that surprised you? A day in your life? What does your productivity cycle look like? The best questions are open ended - starting conversations Shut your mouth. Wait. Let them talk. Ask personal questions

Empathize. Be a human. Care, about them as a person. Meet on their turf if possible (their home or office) One question at a time let them be the star resist editorializing (“You were upset about…” - ascribing an emotion/belief) resist anticipating the response (don’t build an answer into a question. don’t lead them) Study my own work - what am I do well? what am I doing poorly?

Research / Sources History of veganism / vegetarianism Other similar movements

Potential Interviews Gilmore Kapor Granick Marlinspike Schneier Barlow Back Szabo Maxwell Vitalik May Chaum M Green Wilcox Halderman Rivest Lessig Stallman Moglen Wright Assange Applebaum Brito Rushkoff Arvind

Easter egg 🙂