[NetBehaviour] Blockchain & Bureaucracy

ruth catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sat Jul 23 16:21:05 CEST 2016

On 22/07/16 23:26, Rob Myers wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Jul 2016, at 08:28 AM, ruth catlow wrote:
>> Another informative blog here from Max. 
>> http://networkcultures.org/moneylab/2016/07/12/%C2%ADblockchain-bureaucracy/ 
>> It certainly reflects many of my encounters with blockchain-engaged 
>> types in London so far.
>> It's hard to overstate the extremities and contradictions that we've 
>> encountered in this area
> Yes there's a gulf between the world-changing rhetoric and the 
> money-grubbing behaviour that is sadly familiar from past developments 
> in tech.
WOW that's a thought!
When I remember the utopian verve with which I embraced the early 
development of the WWW...

I had thought that the skepticism that Blockchain arouses within me was 
to do with the fact that it converts every exchange into a transaction 
as part of a global market. But you are probably correct- this is pretty 
much business as usual.
> Possibly a cognitively necessary one.
What, really, why?
> What's new this time around is the full-stack entitlement to passive 
> income and return-on-investment.
>> The threat of this....
>> "The inability to imagine alternative use cases for p2p distributed 
>> networks to enable greater financial inclusion, citizen empowerment 
>> or civil organization will lead to the inevitable commercialization 
>> and privatization of blockchain, and bankers will fondly remember 
>> Bitcoin as the greatest gift the hackers ever made."
>> is a strong motivation for Furtherfield's work in this territory.
> "Financial inclusion" is a strong driver in conventional 
> cryptocurrency - won't someone think of the unbanked?
Brett Scott wrote about this here http://www.unrisd.org/brett-scott
> Recuperation is the fate of any technology under capitalism. What's 
> extraordinary about this particular technology is that it turns so 
> many of its critics into technological determinists.
I think that this is a function of its inaccessibility too. Unlike the 
early WWW we (the mass of amateur experimental tech adventurers- of many 
ages and values) can't so easily get our hands on the code. In the early 
90s I could take a piece of simple html, upload it to a computer and 
then share it around the world.... we can't mess with BC software in the 
same way...


Rob- perhaps you know of some cut-and-paste DIY resources that we could 
play with together.



> That's fortunately not the case here.

> - Rob.
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