SuttaCentral

Vinaya or Suttas on Blockchain

Have you ever wander how the preserve Suttas and Vinnaya for future generation? History is showing the decline and changing of the meaning in Suttas, and monastic rules…

What if we post whole Pali | English suttas into blockchain? So it cannot be changed in future. One thing is clear future is digital. And for next 2500 year there still be Buddhism, with or without flying cars :slight_smile:

A blockchain record cannot be deleted or manipulated,
once uploaded to blockchain they records stay there forever unchangable.

Of course some council need to be establish to validate each of the texts… not saying that even all different traditions should be posted… Just idea. I think somebody will realize this idea… but I see the problem with execution and validation of the text in first place…It should have full support of powerful patrons - public figures from Buddhist religion to add validity to records, when somebody in 500 years will start to question even this records. Therefore I’m suggesting it here - where people know powerful people, and also the text very well, and they genuine care.

The whole bible is burned in some crystal stone and also engraved in some material in nanoscale. Why the Buddhist cannot have ~ Blockchain Tipitaka :slight_smile:

I think it is cool idea showing how Buddhist can use modern technology to protect the Tipitaka.

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If I remember well, I believe @Sujato was considering using the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) protocol and network to host Sutta Central. IPFS is an alternative to the web, more decentralised. But it’s not using a public blockchain and is therefore not as decentralised as POW blockchains, although it seems there are some proposals to have blockchain-enabled IPFS.

There are other decentralised storage projects out there (Storj, Swarm, FileCoin) but I don’t know their state of development.

Could you post a few links about this? That sounds very interesting!

Very much so! If only there was a means of setting root text and translations in multiple languages line-by-line so that future linguists/archeologists could figure it out even if knowledge of some languages was lost!

That’s not clear to me at all. Digital data is ephemeral. And there is a non-negligible chance that civilization will collapse and computers will cease to exist in coming years. Digital preservation via blockchain, IPFS, etc. is a great idea, but there also needs to be lasting physical objects.

Digital texts are pretty good these days. The councils have done their jobs, and we have a digital representation of their work.

One problem with existing digital texts, however, is that since they are encoded in markup (usually HTML or TEI XML) they contain a promiscuous mix of content, meta-content, and code. To make sense of them you need a client such as a web browser, or an understanding the of the markup languages. Our next-gen of JSON texts solves this problem, and keeps text and markup cleanly separated. So long as you can read Unicode text, you’re good.

This is fun, you could send the Tripitaka to space! But it seems to me that it’s wise to avoid relying on a solution that requires exotic materials or special technology to read.

My idea: engraved plates in brass, with multiple languages per plate, sponsored by Buddhist families as merit-making. The plates could be kept in homes or placed in temples. Thus they would be distributed over the globe, highly resilient to any natural or human destruction, and readable so long as any one of the languages is understandable.

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Thank you for detailed reply!

Timeline of human decline / lifespan

Sorry I don’t have english version of this picture (this one is in Slovak language). So I’m adding translation of the elements in the picture.

Legend labels

X axis: Time (Years)
Y axis: Human average lifespan

Few number on top of the line is average lifespan that year

  1. Year -450: Buddha spin the Dhamma weel
  2. Years 2000 - 2500 Present time
  3. Year 4800: End of Buddhism (nobody understand the text, nobody can practice)
  4. Year 8500: 7 day massacre bottom of the human era
  • Years 8500+: Quite quick rebounce to Golden age

Brainstorming

If we think about perservation of the Suttas we should think only about timespan from label 2 (present era) to label 3 (End of Buddhism). After this era nobody will understand the text at all, so it doesn’t matter if they have Suttas or not. After this era by my opinion decline will be faster then shown on graph…I’m counting that as people degenerate they will be unable to manage maintain cities, devices, even internet, and IQ will drop so even reading of the books will be quite difficult thing. The blockchain this time will be useless too, same as bronze plates… After year 8500 there will be rebounce with morality and new golden age will start. But I think these people will have little interest about the Dhamma because their long lifespan, happines, and almost all the desires fulfilled. Maybe they can be interested in precepts, but precepts can be found in all religion. And when lifespan again decline the Buddha Mettaya will come.

So as we think about preservation we should think only about next 2500 years.

Bhante: Is there anywhere in Suttas or commentaries, if one Buddha find some physical artefacts or books from previous Buddha?

Bible links:

http://The Smallest Bible in the World from the RBNI
http://‘Superman Memory Crystal’ Could Store Data for 13.8 Billion Years