Ambassador interview: Pedro Rivera
Part two of our interview series with Bitnation’s ambassadors, this time Pedro Rivera:
Erik: Hello Pedro, could you first tell us a bit about yourself please? Where are you from and what has gotten you into crypto-technology and liberty?
Pedro: Well, I’m an engineer and I’m from Colombia. I want to serve my people with my profession, I’m engineer and I know about technology. I started with crypto-technologies because I saw it as a technical means to achieve a better social organization for the society I live in, by creating tools that can help us to manage difficult situations.
My country is very well-known because of violence and corruption, that’s because we have a monopolistic social organization, that’s why I’ve been looking for answers about different political and organizational ideas, I think we as society are very ignorant about what politics are, it’s more like a “popularity contest” here than a serious attempt to regulate interactions between human beings.
About me, I’m from Colombia as I said earlier, I’m automation engineer from the Universidad del Cauca, I live in a beautiful land, in one of the places more afflicted of civil war in my country (Departamento del Cauca), I like technology, markets and Arts (music and audiovisual composition), I’m a very curious person :)
Erik: What was your first contact with Bitnation and what has motivated you to become an ambassador?
Pedro: My first indirect contact with Bitnation was through the Keiser Report, after that I developed a functional prototype based on the Bitnation ID protocol and I was contacted by Bitnation’s CEO during the Bogotá Coinfest 2015, and became an ambassador because I wanted to figure out how to make Bitnation grow.
I mean from state and government theory we realize that those entities start from scratch and “suddenly” build a base of power and are recognized and well known and create a “state” or “government theory” that are far different from reality, because they need an “ideological background” to justify their existence as a dogma (as happened with kings in Europe’s medieval ages which used religion to explain their power as “the will of God”, when it really was created because of their military influence). Bitnation’s concept contradicts the roots of this state theory (in Sung Tsu’s words: “The fundamentals of the State is the control of the land”) and I want to see “from the inside” how a state model based on the interaction of people really works, how a real democratic system can be established empowered by technology.
My second motivation is that I want to create tools that people can use to manage themselves as society, I mean the conventional law-based system is very weak for the society we live in nowadays, because laws are created in an archaic system which is completely obsolete, that people with enough money or intelligence can manipulate and use it against society, as we have seen many times. For example, Microsoft creating laws in Chile to ban open source software or in Colombia to create monopolistic information services. I like the vision of Bitnation about using technology to help society and the market to help society instead of the opposite.
Erik: Can you tell us a bit more about Colombia’s ignorance towards politics and the “popularity contest” ? How do you want to change something about this ignorance?
Pedro: People in Colombia believe that political science and exercise are only about “to choose the winner politician in order of how popular it is” , most people are openly proud of political corruption and their affiliation to it, so they turn political exercise in an only marketing business, people don’t care about the politicians’ ideas and their plans in the government, because they know that politicians will not accomplish what they says, they are just thinking about that “this guy seems less bad than the other”, most people say literally “while I can live today, I don’t care about tomorrow”, they say this with anger and despair because they really believe that politicians are absolute and corrupt.
Politicians use government money openly to promote their careers like a minister that says he “gives free houses to families”, because most people don’t have housing, he uses a government program and says he is the one that gives the houses and openly plan meetings while he is still a minister, so he can be popular. The openly corrupt ones try to promote their candidates and the other dont care because they know there will be always a bad government.
Political opposition, as the rest of the world knows it, doesn’t exist in my country, those kind of movements are mass-mudered like with the genocide of Union Patriotica during the 70s and 80s. People in colombia are afraid. Colombians are people who have lost any hope, they need to see to believe, that’s why I want to help with an example, I do digital activism in my country, I want to help create better government structures and methods and help them to success in order to show my people that changes are possible, if people still want the corrupt system because they think it’s the less bad option, if people still want the corrupt system, because they dont believe in themselves and what can they do, no change is possible.
I still have to find my own answers before I play as a guru regarding questions like “what is politics?”, “why do we need it?”, “what is true and what is just propaganda?”, “how can we as citizens think about our society?”, “why does it matter?”, “how politics and economy works on our daily life?”, “why should i be interested?”, “how to put aside propaganda of any different political schools from the real important things?”, “how to cooperate?”, those are really important questions that not many people are asking themselves, and that’s the basic of politics.
About how to change something about this ignorance, I think Arts is the easy way, most people don’t like knowledge, but rt is very touchy and easy to share, I just learned what opera meant to french revolution, Mozart’s “The Wedding of Figaro” was forbidden in almost all of Europe, because it was the most brilliant critic of the nobility system and shows a guy like Figaro, a common man, winning over the noble guy, it was a huge deal, even Napoleon said the revolution really started with that opera (we also have to remember Rousseau was an opera composer and protector of opera buffa). We need to re-discover our society through Arts. Art that can help us think about our friends, families and children, Art that can help us to encourage ourselves to ask ourselves questions, because the essence of politics is the management of community relationships, it should be focused on the benefits of the community.
Erik: And what kind of governance services do you want to be decentralized through Bitnation? Which is the most important to you?
Pedro: Arbitration and information management are the most important to me. Why do personal IDs and records exist? Why do we as citizens need someone to have information about us? The answer is arbitration.
Arbitration has a lot of faces, but is about how we should act when there is a dispute. I’ll give an example, private property protection works when someone tries to take someone’s private property, as society we need something to know what to do in those situation to clarify it in a peaceful way. Most systems have records of everyone’s private properties and help the ones who have their properties in the records. But it’s not the only rule that has been applied during the past, people have been using religious books to deal with the dispute between Jewish and Palestinian people after WWII (Great Britain used religious texts that said that that land was of Jewish people to create Israel, because those lands were registered as private property of Palestinian people). Since arbitration needs to have and mantain records of people’s information in order to be enforced, and that information management should be decentralized. If not, things like the NSA will happen over and over again.
Arbitration itself must be decentralized, because as it happens now, people bribe the arbitrators, like with the recent scandal in my country about a Supreme Court judge who recieved $2500 from an oil company and helped criminal bands in exchange for doing selective murderers and steal lands from small farmers. Information management are services like BitID, BitCorp or BitLand, and arbitrage services could be like the ones of smart contracts.
Erik: Thanks for your time Pedro, we hope to hear from you soon again!
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