[NetBehaviour] blockchain & bitcoin stuff

helen varley jamieson helen at creative-catalyst.com
Thu Dec 7 16:35:29 CET 2017

hi everyone,

i'm dropping in again for a moment (i haven't been able to keep up with
things because i'm very busy with this: http://www.magdalenamuenchen.de
- if any of you will be in or near munich during february, march & april
next year, please check out the programme & come along to something! &
please pass on to your theatre/performance/live-art friends & networks)

i had a big backlog of netbehaviour emails & have tried to read most of
it, but for sure i've missed many nuances in the discussion. for what
it's worth, here are some thoughts & comments:

from ruth's summary email on 25.11.:

> Thor Karlsson presents Authenteq – a blockchain based identity
> platform that is eminently sensible and useful in a “trustless” world
> of people who want to rent things from others that they don't know,
> and move around freely, free of intermediaries. This rings many alarm
> bells for a room of artists, historians, sociologists and philosophers
> who value the ability to slip between many identities.
the idea of a blockchain based identity platform is pretty abhorrent to
me. as well as the social implications which are very problematic,
fluidity of identity is fundamental to theatre & to cyberformance. it's
built in to the design of UpStage - unlike most other platforms, one can
be completely anonymous & change identity at will. over 14 years we have
never had a problem with this, i think because the whole context is
playful, deliberate artiface, the shared suspension of disbelief that is
inherent to theatre. authenticity of action rather than individual
personal authenticity is what counts.

why are we accepting that the world is "trustless"? sure some people are
untrustworthy, but this concept of trustlessness seems to have suddenly
taken hold as an undeniable fact. if it is so, then how can we respond
to that? is it possible to restore some degree of trust in the world?
however naive it may be, i want to strive for that.

> the logic of war and defence at the heart of cryptocultures
yes - this is something that needs to be more discussed

from rob's response to ruth:

> Or it may just be the case that high finance appropriates folk fintech
> as high culture appropriates folk culture,
absolutely agree

from rob's responses to discussion about why bitcoin uses so much energy:

> It is not a waste of electricity, it is the cost of securing the network.
but for whom? & at what cost to the planet, to the people, animals &
plants who derive absolutely no benefit from bitcoin?
> So once there are no more block rewards for mining, fees will still
> exist and will become more important.
so, it's all about a few people (cryptocurrency miners) making as much
money as possible; aren't miners are simply replacing the so-called
trustless third parties (banks, governments) that bitcoin is supposed to
do away with?

re faircoin vs. decred: i didn't see anything about energy efficiency on
the decred website (maybe i missed it) & i find the whole governance
thing overwhelming. who has the time to read, understand & get involved
with this? my guess is, the same people who are developing the
technology. so even if its governance mission intends to be more
cooperative, it still comes down  to a pretty small & unrepresentative
group of people. faircoin's reliance on third parties seems more
realistic - we exist in communities where we need to interact on a daily
basis with all kinds of third parties. sure, they can let us down, but
this is how it's always been. even bitcoin, decred & all the rest of
them must rely on third party actors (browser applications, for
example). is being completely free of third parties a realistic or even
useful goal to have?

h : )

helen varley jamieson
helen at creative-catalyst.com <mailto:helen at creative-catalyst.com>

/*Magdalena München Saison 2018 <http://www.magdalenamuenchen.de>*/
2 Februar - 28 April 2018
*Frauen - Theater - Performance*

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