Today I read my friend Brent‘s thesis proposal draft “Promiserver“. He is rethinking the contract system in the context of networked collaboration and creative micro-economy. He has been building web services and APIs to facilitate a trustworthy promise system. As an alternative to written-once static contracts, he is proposing procedural dynamic contracts that emerge from the community. In his words, Brent says:
“The project aims to offer a sensible, lightweight promise network as an alternative to heavy and inefficient legal commitments, and to facilitate new models of collaborative business by reducing transaction costs and improving market fluidity.”
It is obvious that while the scale of a promise network is growing in time, it could attract more people to trust the central promises in the network. The bigger the tie strength, the more we can trust those promises. If the social construction is important for trust, maybe the procedures in these contracts are procedurally regulated by the network effects around them.