Tatu talks about why he is part of the Ethereum community and why he is so enthusiastic about Aragon and decentralization
As part of our team interview series (Luis' Interview|Jorge's Interview), I've interviewed Tatu--- Aragon's Communications Lead --- to learn more about his experience in the Ethereum ecosystem, the projects he's most excited about, and why he chose to work for Aragon.
This post has been updated retrospectively to reflect the the transition from Community to Communications Lead.
Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I'm Tatu, the Communications Lead at Aragon. In this role, I talk with people on Slack and other platforms, answer questions, and help out where I can with all kinds of issues. I also prepare blog and social media posts, and help other projects figure out how to effectively use Aragon.
I have been a member of the Ethereum community for over a year now, mostly hanging around IRC, Reddit, the Ethereum Forum, Twitter, and Slack. In those spaces, I helped newcomers with all sorts of issues, including mining. I've always been the kind of person who likes to help others. Previously, I was a Licensed Practical Nurse in Finland for about nine years. But two years ago, I saw that the things around the tech culture were starting to take shape. This inspired me to pursue my passion of computers and technology.
I've always been really passionate about technology and computers. I'm a basic geek in the sense that I'm a tech enthusiast, gamer, computer nerd, movie, and comic book fan. So joining the tech industry was a logical step for me.
What did you do before joining Aragon?
Before joining Aragon, I was a Community Manager at Status. This position taught me a great deal about managing and communicating with the Ethereum community from a development team perspective, rather than just as a fellow community member.
Why are you joining Aragon and what do you hope to achieve?
I see so much potential in Aragon. There's so many fields, professions, businesses, and places that can benefit from being decentralized. I've been a volunteer and board member on a few NGOs, and that's just one area where I could see Aragon solving problems, leading to a brighter future.
For me, the Web 3.0 is not just a dream. It's a goal --- an Internet built on decentralized infrastructure. I'm excited for a future of running applications and services that are not controlled by centralized entities motivated by profit. A future where the people build the internet, and the choices individuals make have positive or negative consequences.
Aragon will give the people the tools needed to govern and control organizations and communities without middlemen or outside approval. In my opinion, the concept of DAOs is a change in the right direction. The way companies work today is rigidly organized and structured. It's inflexible, constricted, and outdated for the modern age. Aragon has the potential to change the way organizations are built and increase effectiveness.
How did you get into Ethereum?
Unlike many Ethereum community members, I didn't get into Ethereum via Bitcoin. I first learned about Bitcoin in 2010 or 2011. At the time, I just saw it as an interesting concept. My thoughts were --- "Hey, here's this new 'Internet Money' thing and you can earn it by using your CPU. That's cool." I didn't dig any deeper, and just had a superficial understanding of its utility. But I started mining with my CPU, and after two weeks I earned something like $0.40. I decided that it wasn't worth the effort and stopped. I still followed Bitcoin from a distance, mostly through mainstream media and mentions around the Internet.
Then about a year and a half ago, a friend of a friend asked me if I wanted to invest in this new blockchain thing where you can easily make money. I did some research and recognized that the project was a total scam (won't name it here either). But this sparked an interest in me to look at what's actually going on in the blockchain space. And then I came across Ethereum. I was hooked. I started reading more and more about it, and quickly realized that this technology was something I was passionate about and wanted to pursue.
Which aspects in particular do you find the most interesting about Ethereum?
I'm a privacy and security oriented person, so I'm intrigued by the decentralization and security aspects of the blockchain. Humans are social animals. We want to interact with others in some form or another. It brings us joy, happiness, and encouragement. And unfortunately, sometimes, it also brings sadness, anxiety, and depression. But still, the Internet has enabled us to find people who we can bond with. People that have similar interests or traits. We're no longer bound to the small circle of friends in our cities or towns. The Internet has truly enabled us to find and share information with others. Of course this comes with some caveats; specifically, humans can also be selfish and greedy.
Current systems, like Facebook, make users the product. They monetize our need for social interaction. This just seems wrong to me. People are willing to sell their privacy, thoughts, actions, interests, and activities to these large conglomerates for the right to social interaction. They are willing to accept that they are being used to empower the already rich and privileged individuals for the right to interact with their friends and family on a platform.
Many don't even know how or why their information is being used by these companies. The latter is now, in hindsight, pretty easy to answer. Selling data has been proven as a functional business model. With Ethereum and the Web 3.0, I hope we can shift towards a less Orwellian and Machiavellian society.
Which Ethereum projects do you find most interesting?
This is hard! There are so many great projects, and new ones get announced every day. I'll try to keep it short.
Here's just a few (in alphabetical order):
- Akasha: I'm really interested in the concept of an online news and social media platform where you can pay and get paid for content. Community curated content is absolutely the right path towards a community governed social media, where anyone with interesting insights can have their audience.
- FirstBlood: I used to play eSports when I was younger, and as a gamer I like to follow eSports. In my view, FirstBlood is the right path to incentivize players. It creates the possibility for actual careers in eSports for more than just a handful of people.
- Golem: I'm excited by the concept of getting paid for renting out your excess computational power to others for a reasonable fee. With Golem, 3-D artists at home and schools can finally render their work in a reasonable time. The scientific applications of the technology are definitely the most interesting use cases to me.
- SingularDTV: The idea of a decentralized and community governed media platform appeals to me because I live in a country where we're accustomed to TV operators dictating what we can watch and when. Often, we get access to video content months or years after it's original release. Even Netflix series are delayed and the library of content is like 20 times smaller when compared to the US. Consuming media content is popular these days. Equal terms and availability, across the globe, just seems right to me.
- Ownage: Gamers should be able to actually own their digital items and have the ability to do what they want with them. This is one project that I'm really looking forward to.
- Status: A very large percent of people in the world don't even own, or can own, a computer. For Ethereum to be accessible to everyone, to bring real change to the Internet, we need to have an easy way for mobile users to access this technology. Status, like Aragon, is being built decentralized. Status is utilizing all three components of Ethereum, really taking advantage of the tech stack. This is an important distinction in my opinion. Why? Some other projects build systems that they say use Ethereum, but don't actually use the technology. Instead, they use the Web 2.0 counterparts instead. It's something I don't really understand and there should be more awareness around this.
What would you say that the people who aren't really tech savvy could do to help Ethereum and Aragon?
They can and will do a lot for the community. This is where Ethereum is aspiring to go --- the mainstream. But currently, a large percentage of people aware of and interested in helping Ethereum are to a certain degree tech savvy.
One thing people that want to get involved can do is to use projects being developed on Ethereum. They may not be useful just yet, as the technology is very bleeding-edge and developing rapidly. But once the tech and DApps mature, begin using them in your every day life. By using these new technologies and DApps, you can provide valuable feedback to projects.
Another way to get involved is to engage in communities (like our Chat.) This really gives project teams invaluable information on how people feel about the projects and how they are using these technologies. For mainstream adoption, getting feedback from the community is imperative for a smooth and easy user experience.