[community] Revisiting the discussion about blockchains...
John W (personal)
pickupwillis at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 15:21:28 UTC 2016
I moved a bit too fast
thanks Jutta, yes bitcoin was merely one implementation of the blockchain
technology, sorry to imply we might be focusing here on bitcoin per se
For me a large part of this debate needs to happen at the level of
sociology and politics, I imagine a 'critical theory' of distributed
emancipation - i.e. under what conditions do the web, blockchains, P2P
networks, etc, empower individuals as whole persons (not just consumers)
and communities to be sustainable and just?
The term 'full stack' hints at the reality that all technologies are really
techno social systems that structure and express relationships between
people. In the 19th century sociology struggled to overcome the
'fetishizing' power of commodities i.e. the tendency of goods in the
marketplace to appear to be more 'real' than the human beings who made
them. Similarly, digital technology in our time sometimes appears to have
true agency (e.g. the term 'disruption' attributed to technology) even more
than the people who relate to each other through the medium of technology.
Inclusive design doesn't make that mistake.
So, to rephrase: what are the conditions of possibility of using blockchain
technology (or similar functionalities from web tech) to empower
individuals as full human beings in communities that are more sustainable
and more just than what we have now? Bring on the devilish details!
On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:45 AM, Jutta Treviranus <jutta.trevira at gmail.com>
> Thanks John, what better way to use an amazing community of diverse minds
> than to explore these emerging topics.
> To your definition, the first application was in cryptocurrency (bitcoin).
> I’m not that interested in this aspect. Many people are talking about it as
> a decentralized trust mechanism for applications that have nothing to do
> with cryptocurrency.
> Here is a more generic definition:
> = "a distributed cryptographic ledger shared amongst all nodes
> participating in the network, over which every successfully performed
> transaction is recorded". 
> See, from Rachel O'Dwyer: How the Blockchain Might Support a Commons
> > On Jun 10, 2016, at 10:23 AM, John W (personal) <pickupwillis at gmail.com>
> > ...gee, you like simple questions, Jutta :-)
> > For info of any of us who might be shy to say 'what's a blockchain
> > -
> > Techopedia explains Blockchain
> > The block chain ledger helps to provide transparency for transactions.
> > Although many bitcoin transactions are in some ways anonymous, the block
> > chain ledger can link individuals and companies to bitcoin purchases and
> > ownership by allowing individual parties, called miners, to process
> > payments and verify transactions. Rather than a central company presiding
> > over the use of bitcoin, these block chain originators serve central
> > in the management and administration of this alternative currency system.
> > On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:10 AM, Jutta Treviranus <
> jutta.trevira at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >> Last year I broached the topic of blockchains to many people on this
> >> asking what the implications and opportunities were for inclusive
> >> How could we make use of a fully decentralized immutable technical
> >> without intermediaries (e.g., trusted diversification of academic
> >> credentialing without academic institutions as gatekeepers) and what
> >> the risks for an area currently dependent on regulations for
> >> (e.g., regulating UBER for ridesharing vs. a completely distributed
> >> to person ridesharing system)?
> >> Several of you gave very good arguments for dismissing blockchain
> >> technologies. I spoke to Tim Berners Lee about the implications of
> >> blockchains at the WWW2016 conference and he maintained that the same
> >> functionality can be derived from existing Web technologies and
> >> He said the same later in his keynote address.
> >> Since then Don Tapscott and his son have released a book on the
> >> of blockchains:
> >> <
> >> ….and our friends at the Internet Archive co-hosted a summit on the
> >> (unfortunately I couldn’t go because of all the things happening here
> >> week) that included Tim, Vint Cerf, Brewster Kahle and others. See:
> >> http://www.decentralizedweb.net <http://www.decentralizedweb.net/>
> >> I wanted to revisit this discussion…. not necessarily limited to the use
> >> of blockchains specifically (for one thing the power consumption of
> >> maintaining and growing them seems to be prohibitive) but how to achieve
> >> the functions that blockchains promised.
> >> What are your thoughts?
> >> Jutta
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> > --
> > *John D. Willis | *
> > *CMRP, MDes *Inclusive design, strategy and research
> > Toronto CANADA
> > Web: www.jdwillis.ca
> > LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/tojohnw
> > Twitter: @TOjohnw
> > Skype: johnwillis416
> > ________________________________________
> > Inclusive Design Community (community at lists.idrc.ocadu.ca)
> > To manage your subscription, please visit:
*John D. Willis | *
*CMRP, MDes *Inclusive design, strategy and research
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