I am currently reading the book Token Economy from Shermin Voshmgir, which I am finding a very comprehensive overview of the current state of the Web3. I am still very new to the topic though, so bare with me if my terminology is inaccurate.
I find one of the given definitions in the book quite puzzling, namely the one for DAO:
A DAOs represents a dynamic network governed by machine-enforceable protocols. They promise more decentralized and spontaneous coordination over the Internet between users who do not know or trust each other.
DAOs are usually formalized by Smart Contracts.
But isn't this very similar to what a consensus protocol and a distributed ledger achieve? They provide a mean for actors that don't trust each others to join and participate to a network with specific economy/dynamics. To me this sounds the same objective with two different names.
So in a way, I wouldn't see much difference between a Smart Contract and a Consensus Mechanism, let aside the purely technical aspect. Likewise: Ethereum could be a DAO in an of itself.
Can someone please tell me what is the difference then? Or are Smart Contracts actually a DAO inception?