SingularityU Sydney Summit - Why Decentralized Technology Matters for Freedom


Speaker - Alex Gladstein

Notes below from the first half. View video above for full talk.

What is the role technology will play in shaping our future society? 
Some technology steers governments and corporations in a more authoritarian direction, increasing control over individuals and, over time, crushing creativity and innovation. Other technology — decentralized technology — helps protect freedom, privacy, and curiosity. Democracy itself can be thought of as a decentralized technology that helped liberate humans from tyranny. The internet, of course, decentralized knowledge and put it in the hands of nearly everyone on earth. Encrypted messaging is a technology that allows us to communicate without fear. And now, Bitcoin is breaking the monopoly over money that governments and corporations enjoy. This talk will walk through these narratives and focus on why decentralized money, especially, matters for the future of freedom.

The Panopticon

Image result for the panopticon

The panopticon is a disciplinary concept brought to life in the form of a central observation tower placed within a circle of prison cells.

From the tower, a guard can see every cell and inmate but the inmates can’t see into the tower. Prisoners will never know whether or not they are being watched.

Our devices have turned our lives into the panopticon.

Must we trade our political and financial freedoms for efficiency and convenience.

This already happening in China. WeChat does everything. What are we trading off for that convenience. Social Credit. The called this harmonisation. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/china-social-credit-system-punishments-and-rewards-explained-2018-4?r=US&IR=T

WeChat debt shaming. WeChat released a mini-program called: “a map of deadbeat debtors.” The application will find people within 500 meters that are in debt. However, The debtor's information is available to check in the program. ... More disturbing is that this debt shaming app is just the tip of the iceberg.

China has, in essence, built the panopticon.

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