Taking over a small town

@revengeday started the Idea to take over a small German city he dislikes. If we were to make a Cyberpunk take over:
What would be important?
How would we make sure to get a running city out of this?

How do we make sure to have all the important jobs done? Can a city run completely on punks or do we need corpo drone LS to function?


We’d need to make sure that the basic infrastructure and services are managed first off: food, water, utilities (including telecom), sanitation. There are a lot of basic services that most of us take for granted but that we would now have to handle ourselves. We would also have to decide whether the city economy would continue to be based on currency or a quid pro quo system like a barter/trade economy. Externally, of course, we would still need to use currency to be able to get what we needed from outside.

Depending on how many people are in the city, and which ones would want to do the low-level service work vocationally, we would probably need to set up some sort of “civic service” schedule where citizens were required to spend some time on a rotational basis working in the essential services slots to ensure that the basic needs of the community as a whole are being met.

Alternatively, we could use the city funds to hire externals to come in and fill those positions as we have need. If they like it there and can find a place to live, then they transition to be a citizen and enter the rotational schedule and receive whatever the local compensation is for that work.

Which brings up another point: how self-sufficient should this city be? Is it a “state within a state” sort of thing or is it an open city that just has different rules within the city limits?

I’m sure other folks have had this idea, but to toss something into the mix:

Legislation via Github.

Laws are made as merge requests that citizens vote on.


I didn’t imagine it this “separated” from the surrounding cities, I imagined it more as a … Aesthetic, vibing normal city?
I didn’t think about any special rules, what entered your mind on this theme?

We do have some smart and experienced people for power grids and internet, but do we have enough people for producing food? Are there enough people to operate grocery stores or will they be mainly smart?

In this dystopic times I would recommend to be mostly self-sufficient, but not isolated.

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I guess I was making assumptions about what all the idea of “taking over” a small city entails from the original post. My assumption was that anyone that would want to live there would probably be also more interested in changing up the political and monetary systems and moving away from capitalism and implementing something new. However, since the rest of the surrounding world would still be utilizing the old system, we’d have to have a way to interact with them to exchange goods and services.

Perhaps I was a little bit too radical in my assumed vision of why we would be taking over a city in the first place. :wink:

So you want to throw in more Solarpunk elements from the beginning?
I thoughts that’s a point we will get to later, slowly changing the dystopian Hellscape into a solarpunk heaven.

But probably we will start going in that direction if we do our own power grid and food. Then we can get rid of most of the cars and enjoy living :person_shrugging:


You would also have to have a economy that could interact with the outside world. Unless you wanna go full Amish route and grow your own food and everything. Also you would need a way to to travel all the way to work or get income while getting the town setup.

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I guess I was assuming that bringing more solarpunk elements in was the primary reason for taking over the town in the first place. :smiley: Maybe you could expand a little bit more on what you’re thinking “taking over a small city” entails and what the initial goals would be?

So assuming we want it to interact with the “normal world” around it, but also have a cyber-moving-to-solar punk vibe how about Universal Basic Income for everyone in the city? The more I find myself wondering about how to take the leap from where we are now to a more utopian solarpunk future the more I find myself coming back to UBI as a great starting point. It might be hard to fund on a cityscale, but maybe proportional taxation and having a large, progressive tech firm onboard we might be able to do it in real terms. This way rather than expecting folks to suddenly risk everything we can glide them in with a phased in UBI and by having co-ops and communities identifying their own additional funding needs.


This is a really fun idea, and I’m immediately laughing at myself as I think thru the public key infrastructure and other security elements necessary to make something like this work.

Without commit signing and verification, I can create a commit as though I were anyone. This kind of attribution is critical. I do think it is important that we know who proposed a change. On the flip side, can we implement anonymous PR approval, where we know that approvers are legitimate voters in the system, but that on the surface they remain anonymous? This is done to avoid retribution for folks voting for or against controversial changes, while avoiding nonrepudiation.

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I can’t believe that I’m going to say this, but wouldn’t the blockchain be the perfect use of that technology to ensure that votes are counted properly and cannot be changed (or at least there would be a permanent record of any changes made)? Maybe the legislation itself goes on the blockchain after it is ratified by a sufficient number of anonymous voters.

As for the user verification, couldn’t this be done with public keys? As I understand it so far, this might also be a good place to use an app based on Veilid that would have the UID verification built in as a core part of the protocol. I think you’re a little bit closer to that project than I am, @signal9, so am I off base here?

There are good append-only logs, application based on Merkle Tree, that give you the immutable log without all of the energy waste proof-of-work and blockchain give you.

User verification could certainly be done using public keys, you’re right. This is how git does it, for example. Async encryption’s Achilles’ heel has always, IMHO, been public key infrastructure. You can only verify my signature if you have a public key, and if you can trust that you have the correct key.

Veilid, then, would be an implementation choice. You’d get the verification, the public key signatures, etc. plus a distribution channel. Depending on how you build the application, and especially if the application was hyper-local - governance of a small town - you could ensure that up-to-date replicas are easily accessible. The need for trusted keys remains the same.

I’m an old hacker, I’d be happy with in-person key-signing parties, lol.

When managing an IRL community, though, I would want to hesitate relying too much on the tech over genuine democracy and governance. Building real community would be key, with the tech being secondary, implementation details. There would be little to gain by presenting an optimal technical solution where good enough is good enough.