Techno-politics

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Understanding “The Merge”

Ethereum
The most significant event in the short history of Web3 will most likely occur on September 15, 2022. That’s when Ethereum, the largest smart contract blockchain (with the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap), is now scheduled to enact an existential operational change. If it fails, “The Merge,” as it is colloquially called, is almost sure to take the crypto markets down with it. But even if The Merge is 100 percent successful, it will come with profound implications regarding censorship, regulation, and the future of money. Continue Reading →

Common Sense vs. Censorship

Each of these stories raises questions we all think we know the answers to. Where is the line between common sense and censorship? What lengths should the government go to to protect human lives? When is it appropriate for a platform or telecom carrier to block access to its network? Continue Reading →
United Mine Workers
On a Labor Day weekend a few years ago, I had a crazy idea that labor law might be an alternative path to meaningful data privacy regulation. Now, with several organizations working on blockchain-based, SSI (Self-sovereign identity), what was a real stretch of the imagination is inching closer to practical application. Think about this… There Continue Reading →
Elon Musk
Elon Musk and Twitter are probably going to court over whether he should be forced to buy the social media company for $44 billion. He's trying to back out of the deal because he thinks Twitter is lying about the number of bots and fake accounts on the platform. But it's not just about the bots. Twitter has not had a substantial increase in users since 2016 – which makes you wonder why Elon ever considered buying the platform. But the story gets worse, because Twitter's woes are not even a little bit new. Continue Reading →

Web3 and Greater Fools

Greater Fool
As we enter another crypto winter, it has become de rigueur for tech types to go on record espousing that Web3 is nonsense, that blockchain is a terrible technology, and that cryptocurrencies (all of them) are Ponzi schemes. There is seemingly no end to the tweets and blog posts from highly credentialed people about tulips and "The Emperor's New Clothes" and greater fool theory. It's as if the technocrats want to make sure that they know that you know that they know that all things Web3 are technologically inferior to all things Web2. Are they right? Continue Reading →
1776
A little more than 246 years ago, our forefathers used the best technology available to inspire colonial proto-Americans to revolt against King George. At that time, the "best" technology available was the printing press and the "best" social network required the use of "word of mouth" in Public Houses. Grog was the lubricant that facilitated this communication and the rest, as they say, is history. Continue Reading →
World of Warcraft Soulbound Token
In World of Warcraft, a soulbound item, once picked up, cannot be transferred or sold to another player. It is this idea of “immutable, permanent binding” that inspired Ethereum’s creator, Vitalik Buterin, to ask a question: What if NFTs could be soulbound? Continue Reading →
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a former Washington state high school football coach had a right to pray on the field immediately after games. We're going to talk about this, Elon Musk's pending purchase of Twitter, and what "Freedom of Speech" means under the new SCOTUS tonight, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET here in NYC at the Newhouse Advanced Media Lab Series event: What is Freedom of Speech? Continue Reading →
At a dinner party the other night, a very accomplished business person told a story about how he and his wife were certain that their devices were listening to their conversations. “I was talking to my wife about a pair of designer shoes that she wanted to purchase, and not 10 minutes later while she was doing some online research for work, she saw an ad for that exact pair of shoes. She hadn’t searched for the shoes; the ad just appeared. Clearly, our computers or our phones are listening.” Some people nodded in agreement, and others began to chime in. Continue Reading →

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