In Latin the words De facto mean In reality. It’s the way things are even if they’re not intended to be that way. For example, if I was doing all the work of a Mayor, but I wasn’t officially elected, I’d be “The De facto Mayor.”
Asgardia has a lot of aspirations and it’s clear that a great deal of hard work is being put in to develop Dr. Ashurbeyli’s vision. In this blog, we’re going to be looking at the reality of Asgardia. What the de facto state of certain things are.
Asgardia’s De Facto Language
Asgardia aims to support 12 languages. These were selected early on in Asgardia’s lifetime based on the most popular languages. People’s languages were picked based on their asgardia.space profiles.
The 12 languages went on to play a major role in the development of the nation and spawned the 13 districts of Parliament. Each district represents one of the 12 languages and the 13th the ‘other’ languages. In the first elections, members of Parliament ran to represent ‘the will of the people’ that fell into each of those language categories.
Asgardia holds its official events in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Russian. When there are major moments caught on camera, there are subtitles created for each language.
However, when we take a closer look, we see that the de facto language of Asgardia is, infact, English.
English continues to be the Lingua Franca for the world.
While there are other popular languages, such as Mandarin which currently has 1.1 billion speakers, the majority of those are native speakers. English continues to be the Lingua Franca for the world. It is the ‘bridge language’ having 379 million native speakers but over 1.1 billion speaking the language globally.
This pattern also exists in Asgardia. Most of Asgardia’s communications are delivered in English, the main working language for Parliament is English. In addition to these official channels, the main language used on Asgardia’s social networks is also English with it being enforced by moderator’s on Asgardia’s ‘General’ discord channel.
While it’s likely that there will be shifts in this – The Head of Nation has even said that he’d like Asgardia to have its own language – for the foreseeable future, you better pop the kettle on, love! because English is Asgardia’s de facto language.
Asgardia’s De Facto Law & Order
I spoke early about the ‘rules’ that Asgardia has in place – and there is some fine work that is being done to build up the legislation that our nation will run on. The defining factors in our laws are our supreme values and our constitution. Over the years, the laws will get more advanced and will even have ‘real world’ consequences for breaking them.
Due to the lack of legislation in Asgardia, it’s really hard to break the law.
However, when it comes to our Digital Nation there is actually no established justice system. police force, lawyers, courts or appeal process – and due to the lack of legislation in Asgardia, it’s really hard to break the law.
When we delve into the de facto form of law and law enforcement actually comes from our social media policies and moderation teams.
Asgardia is a digital nation – our public spaces are generally those found on the likes of Facebook and Discord. This is where we congregate and interact with one another as a society. At least, this is our closest analogue.
Until we have Asgardian spaces of our own that exist outside the realms of Asgardia’s social networks, we will continue to be subject to the moderation policies first and the laws second.
Asgardia’s moderation teams act as ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner’
There is no official police body who have been charged with ‘serving and protecting’. It falls to the moderators to ensure that Asgardia’s policies are being upheld. Asgardia’s moderation teams act as ‘judge, jury and executioner‘. While it might sound overly dramatic, you get the idea.
Unlike academic or institutional settings, there is no formal ‘hearing process’. where the ‘accused’ gets to defend themselves. Warnings, bans and moderation are subject to the moderator’s interpretation, rather than the interpretation of the law.
Furthermore, there is no system for people who have been moderated to officially challenge those rulings – such as having a lawyer test the moderation policy as you might ‘in a court of law’ to have it overturned.
The De Facto Currency of Asgardia
It’s well known that Asgardia has its own currency, The Solar. This was originally intended to be a Cryptocurrency. In recent months, however, it has been suggested that its ‘first form’ will be a ‘stable coin’.
This means that, rather than being a new block-chain powered cryptocurrency, the value of the Solar will be tied to the Euro. It will go up and down based on the value of the Euro and this will ensure that it’s got a fair monetary value.
In the future, it is intended that the Solar will be able to rise in value based off other factors and eventually it could become a fully-fledged tradable currency.
However, in reality, it’s not yet possible to purchase Solar. Asgardia does not yet have banking organisation. It’s possible to be awarded Solars on occasion in exchange for your residency fee. Additionally, members of Parliament are paid in solar. It’s clear, however, that the Solar can’t be the de facto currency if people aren’t able to freely buy it, use it or trade it within the Nation.
Instead, the Euro seems to be the de facto currency. This might seem a little obvious given that the Solar is tied to the value of the Euro. However, Asgardia’s HQ is also situated in Vienna, Austria – a part of the Eurozone.
Transactions are largely made in Euros. You can purchase your residency fee in your local currency, but the price is listed in Euro and if you do have Solar, it’s only possible to convert the value of the Solar into Euros.
So if you’re thinking about doing business in Asgardia, then you might want to start seeing what the conversion rate is from your currency into the Euro.
The De Facto Calendar
This one isn’t so clear cut. Asgardia has a calendar – it’s a very well fleshed out system, too. It has its own months and a consistent number of days for each month. There is also strong legislation that put the calendar into force.
The Asgardian date is used on all official documents, news posts, decrees and internal documents within Asgardia.
No-one is going to say “Sure, let’s meet on Wednesday 11th of Ophiuchus.”
However. Outside of Asgardia’s official channels, the majority of people still haven’t made the change from the ‘Gregorian’ calendar to the ‘Asgardian’ calendar. Let’s face it. If you ask someone if they want to meet up with you, no-one is going to say “Sure, let’s meet on Wednesday 11th of Ophiuchus”.
When something is so different from what has been ingrained in us for our entire lives, it takes a long time for it to become ‘the new norm’. This is especially true for something like the calendar – which is almost standard the world over.
There are even some instances in Asgardia where the Asgardian Calendar is not used. Take the ‘events’ on asgardia.space, for instance. When you create an event, you’re asked to input the Gregorian date rather than the Asgardian one.
This has resulted in the de facto calendar being the Gregorian calendar and I suspect that it will remain this way until more people start making it a priority to adopt it.
De Facto Timezone
Asgardia is a multicultural project with people all over the world and in every timezone possible. Our main administrative headquarters are in Austria and our largest workforce hails from Russia – and with people all over the place, it can be hard to pin down a specific ‘official’ timezone.
However, almost all of Asgardia’s communications rather sensibly use UTC – Which rather confusingly stands for Coordinated Universal Time. This makes sense as UTC is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and times.
It remains constant, not being adjusted for ‘daylight savings time’ ans is within about 1 second of the mean solar time at 0 degrees longitude.
Using UTC+0 as our timezone allows people all over the world to have a common ‘frame of reference’ for time.
Of course, while this may be the de-facto timezone for Asgardia, it certainly doesn’t mean that there is any unification of time. Most people still need to live and operate in their local timezone or they could end up keeping some very strange hours indeed.
What do you think?
So those are some things that are ‘de facto’ in Asgardia. They’re not ‘intended’ to be the way they are, but it’s the ‘reality’ of the situation. What other things in asgardia are ‘de facto’? Let us know!