Oops. I have two working topic ideas for my project this semester:
-less-less : characterizing blockchain systems between 0 and 1
- The big idea here is to operationalize and make useful distinction of and between blockchain systems outside of absolutes (trustless, unhackable, etc). By digging into these different characteristics and understanding potential strengths of vulnerabilities of different protocols or applications (unsure of where exactly look at here) we may be able to establish common language to discuss across disciplines the ideas behind blockchain. This is somewhat inspired by Prof Mickens criticism of how the elements in blockchain get distorted when computer scientists are talking in the language of law or economics, and inversely when lawyers and economists are explaining computer science. Additionally, the consensus on explaining blockchain to a lay audience tends towards acknowledging its extreme complexity – that is an hour video is needed just to establish basic concepts. Again here, this project could serve as connective tissue that establishes a landscape, categorizes, and argues for the benefits and challenges of different systems in a series of short form articles. The “between 0 and 1” in the title is meant to challenge specifically the absolutes, and while it would not project catastrophic changes (e.g. breaking SHA-2), it may dig in to what claims are reasonable and what claims are sales over substance.
- Human Powered Blockchain Experiment
- See John Maeda’s Human Powered Computer Experiment . In short, this project would utilize people to make concrete (if not necessarily clearer) the elements of a blockchain. Ideally there would be multiple concurrent performances across campus (or country) linked by walkie talkies.