Technium Underground: Visualize the EIPs as a Wood-Wide-Web Dashboard

Foreword: WWW as a Wood Wide Web

The concept of the “Technium,” coined by Kevin Kelly, embodies technology as a living, evolving organism—a fusion of “technology” and “organism.”
In our era, we witness a transformative shift where machinery takes on animalistic qualities, and biological entities are subject to engineering. This dynamic perspective redefines technology not as static tools but as digital species teeming with vitality, complexity, chaos, and madness. So, think about this - what living things would you parallel our beloved blockchain with?

When contemplating the essence of our blockchain ecosystem, I find it fitting to draw parallels not to zoological entities, but to botanical life forms. Why? Because, akin to plants, the blockchain is characterized by its proliferation—numerous and diverse, with robust foundational structures yet slender bodies. Joel Monegro eloquently articulates this notion through the analogy of “fat” protocols and “thin” applications. Unlike the centralized nature of previous Internet generations, our industry thrives on decentralization, modularity, and radical openness, akin to the intricate network of roots forming a Wood World Web underground.

Blockchain and the Wood Wide Web share striking similarities:

  • Firstly, both operate in a decentralized manner, with multiple nodes participating without a central authority. Blockchain’s nodes maintain a ledger and engage in consensus, while the Wood Wide Web’s underground fungi facilitate communication between trees.
  • Secondly, both systems’ focus lies beneath the surface. Blockchain is governed by protocols and cryptography, while the Wood Wide Web’s key players are mycorrhizal fungi connecting trees underground. These fungi, like blockchain protocols, serve as the invisible backbone of their respective ecosystems.

Thus, I propose a data visualization project that employs the metaphor of a mycorrhizal network to map out the evolution of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). It will be a long-term project sparked by the Summer of Protocols but reaching far beyond, like a living system itself.

Proposal: A Lively and Evolutionary Dashboard on the EIPs/ERCs

Inspired by network science metrics such as the h-index in academia and PageRank by Google, I aim to visualize the dynamic interplay between various nodes within our ecosystem. In my visualization, each node represents an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), and its height reflects its interconnectedness with other protocols and decentralized applications (DApps).

Imagine the visualization resembling undulating terrain, where nodes (EIPs) rise and fall based on their relationships with other elements of the ecosystem. Above ground are the flourishing DApps, while beneath the surface lie the foundational protocols. As the data is continuously updated in real-time, adjustments to node weights allow us to observe the evolving landscape of this ecosystem. This visualization offers a comprehensive view of the ecosystem’s evolution, highlighting the intricate connections and dynamics between its constituent elements.

With a background in new media art and current role as a blockchain researcher, I hope to bring a unique blend of creativity and technical expertise to the project. To further uphold professionalism and accuracy, I will collaborate closely with EIP Fun on this project—a team specializing in building abstraction layers and providing incubation services on EIPs/ERCs for Ethereum developers. Their technical support and consultation will ensure the precision and depth of our work.

Project Management

Technium Underground is an initiative sparked by the Summer of Protocol program and consists of four stages. The initial two stages are expected to be completed within the duration of the SOP program (due June 30th). Beyond the program’s timeline, Technium Underground is committed to continued growth. We envision this project evolving into a complex system of live data. Ultimately, our aspiration is for Technium Underground to transition into an open-sourced public good, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the broader ecosystem of Ethereum builders.

Stage 0: Model, Design, and Protocol | 2024 May (Summer of Protocol)

Collaborating with the researchers at EIP Fun, we will assemble a dedicated team: while they dissect EIP’s data structure, I focus on designing the visualization method and creative styles. Together, we will meticulously craft the modeling method and project design, ensuring a robust foundation to underpin the progression of subsequent stages.

Stage 1: A Graphic Novel of Ethereum’s Past | 2024 June (Summer of Protocol)

The main deliverable for SOP program will be a graphic novel. Using a mycorrhizal network generated through data visualization as the backdrop, we aim to depict significant events from Ethereum’s history. We will craft narrative arcs within the graphic novel, blending artful data graphics with illustrations portraying key figures as flora and fauna. Each illustration will be accompanied by detailed annotations, enriching the storytelling experience with contextual insights.

Stage 2: Preliminary Dashboard - Static and Simple | 2024 July-Dec (Beyond SOP)

Building upon the narrative foundation established in Stage 1, we unveil the preliminary iteration of our dashboard. This static and straightforward interface provides users with a glimpse into Ethereum’s past, offering key insights and data visualizations.

Stage 3: Dashboard - Lively and Evolutionary | 2025 (Beyond SOP)

Elevating Technium Underground to new heights, Stage 3 introduces a dynamic and immersive dashboard experience. Real-time data updates, interactive visualizations, and engaging features bring the Ethereum ecosystem to life, fostering deeper understanding and exploration.

Stage 4: An Open-Sourced Public Good | 2026 + (Beyond SOP)

Ultimately, we hope to embrace the ethos of open collaboration and community-driven innovation by releasing Technium Underground as an open-sourced public good, inviting contributions from the larger Ethereum ecosystem.


Hey @KKBurrito. This is awesome. Blockchain exploration would be much more fun with an alternative to search, sort, filter mechanics across hard to parse data usually found in block explorers.

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Really cool concept with the Wood Wide Web! Can’t wait to see more


Beautiful! I like the metaphor of botanical life forms for decentralized protocols.

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that’s so cool! really like this concept :slight_smile:

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Looking forward to learn more or to discuss IRL! I’ve try to study world-wide-web once before but wood-wide-web is lovely. I almost type Wood-Wild-Web, I guess it does make sense hahaha

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Cute and fun genius idea :mushroom:

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Wood-Wild-Web captures the essence of what I’m envisioning perfectly! The concept of ‘wildness’ embodies vigor and liveliness. Eagerly looking forward to our IRL meetups, 叶老师! Heard so many wonderful things about you already.