Following up on an investment interest in tokens.com led me to discover a connection between blockchain developments and my vision of arbiters: the AI underpinning Reetion civilization in the #okalrel saga.
In their 2020 orientation to polkadot for the layman, Laboon and Reecer (see resources below) give a good summary of how blockchain technology makes it impossible for cheaters to get away with hacking a centralized data source. Every node in the system has all the data in the blockchain and can correct attempted breaches of security. More broadly speaking, polkadot tech offers the promise of interoperability for specialized blockchains, so each doesn't need to function in isolation from the rest. This opens the door for specializations as specific as verifying "I am older than 19" at a bar without needing to reveal any additional information (like picture or birthdate). It's a way to compartmentalize trust-quanta in a decentralized fashion impervious to attacks and corruption. This could really be a Good Thing. I like Good Things. I'm just a bit excited.
But I promised a connection to the Okal Rel Universe ...
In Reetion society, the incorruptible arbiter network enables the trust and free, tireless administrative management required for their utopian lifestyle. Well, not everyone thinks it is utopia but pretty-damn-close was what I was going for. I read up on egalitarian cultures while coming up with Rire and working on a computer masters degree, and concluded trust was core. Egalitarianism doesn't scale up beyond the 100-150 people limit.
Blockchain technologies gets at that trust the same way arbiters do in as much as every arbiter retains facts and fact-checks every other. (Isolated ones can become "eccentric" as in Book 5: Far Arena, but that's another story.) And this shared, incorruptible "score keeping" is the basis of the Reetion lifestyle.
Interestingly, new specialized blockchains may eliminate the need for the transparent society solution envisioned for the Reetions by providing limited authentication methods. Like the "1 am older than 19" proof mentioned above that doesn't have to reveal anything more but can still be trusted.