Much like the Internet’s inability to shake its military origins and use as a surveillance apparatus, I think the blockchain will never be able to shake its roots in a zero trust environment. Which requires a massive amount of faith in mathematics (not humans), and belief in the distributed nature of the web (which isn’t real).
Playing for team human today is author, occult scholar, and wizard Jason Louv. Jason will be helping us see how the intentions we bring into the world of artificial intelligence could set something in motion from which it is hard to return. Jason’s latest book John Dee and the Empire of Angels: Enochian Magick and the Occult Roots of Empire digs deep into the untold and often ignored occult history of Western thinking and empire. On today’s show Jason and Douglas bridge the gap from the Elizabethan esoteric imaginary to the modern day alchemical thinking driving our technologies.
Playing for Team Human today is Suzanne Slomin, founder of Green Rabbit a small solar powered bakery located in the Mad River Valley of Vermont specializing in naturally leavened breads.Suzanne wi
In the introduction, Douglas Rushkoff reflections on the blockchain. This is in contrast to the usual hype. Rushkoff questions what happens when the incentive of mining bitcoin has gone? We are then back to the traditional banking structure where we are dependent on some sort entity to provide a subscription service.
For the feature, Rushkoff talks with Suzanne Slomin about baking bread. This is an insightful conversation. It reminds me of a similar conversation on the Eat This podcast. One of the aspects that stood out was the Slomin’s discussion of her use of living culture as opposed to industrial yeast. She describes how she has to regularly feed it or else it turns in on itself. This is a fantastic metaphor for change.
Behind every great cryptocurrency, there’s a great consensus algorithm. No consensus algorithm is perfect, but they each have their strengths. In the world of crypto, consensus algorithms exist to prevent double spending. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the most popular consensus algorithms to date, from Blockchains to DAGs and everything in-between.
Around the world, a handful of visionaries are plotting an alternative online future. Is it really possible to remake the internet in a way that’s egalitarian, decentralised and free of snooping?
Using the blueprint of Heartbeat, they want to create a new kind of internet they call the indienet – in which people control their data, are not tracked and each own an equal space online. This would be a radical alternative to what we have now: giant “supernodes” that have made a few men in northern California unimaginable amounts of money thanks to the ocean of lucrative personal information billions of people hand over in exchange for their services.
While David Irvine discusses the idea of a distributed SAFE network built on blockchain technology:
The acronym SAFE stands for “Safe Access for Everyone”. In this model, rather than being stored on distant servers, people’s data – files, documents, social-media interactions – will be broken into fragments, encrypted and scattered around other people’s computers and smartphones, meaning that hacking and data theft will become impossible. Thanks to a system of self-authentication in which a Safe user’s encrypted information would only be put back together and unlocked on their own devices, there will be no centrally held passwords.
No one will leave data trails, so there will be nothing for big online companies to harvest. The financial lubricant, Irvine says, will be a cryptocurrency called Safecoin: users will pay to store data on the network, and also be rewarded for storing other people’s (encrypted) information on their devices. Software developers, meanwhile, will be rewarded with Safecoin according to the popularity of their apps. There is a community of around 7,000 interested people already working on services that will work on the Safe network, including alternatives to platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
It is interesting to consider these ideas alongside that of the #IndieWeb community. I think both are aspiring to create a demonstrably better web. It will be interesting to see where all of this goes.
Digital currencies such as bitcoin have caused a financial frenzy. Alex Hern explains what they are – and whether this is the end of ‘real’ money
If you trust the financial system to store your funds, or Dropbox to store your files, or YouTube to host your videos, then you don’t need to use less efficient decentralised versions of those services. But if you are planning to commit financial crime, store illegal downloads, or host pirated videos a decentralised version of those services becomes much more appealing. That’s why bitcoin, for instance, has become the currency of choice for online drug dealers and cybercriminals demanding ransoms to restore hacked data.
Blockchain, the key technology behind Bitcoin, is a new network that helps decentralize trade, and allows for more peer-to-peer transactions. WIRED challenged political scientist and blockchain researcher Bettina Warburg to explain blockchain technology to 5 different people; a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an expert.
This is a useful video as much for thinking about how we share ideas as it is for understanding the blockchain.
I remember the day someone first explained bitcoin and the underlying technology to me. I remember who was doing the explaining, where I was and who else was there. I even remember what time of day it was and what I was wearing. I remember it with the clarity those life-altering moments have, becaus...
- Mate, you didn’t discover anything
- Most of the people I speak to now hold bitcoin bought recently and think of it like day trading
- We haven’t learned a thing