I didn’t see a new thread for the class 3 readings so I decided to start the discussion 0_0…
The video was phenomenal. Some of my favorites quotes include:
- “you can’t get stabbed over TCP/IP”
- “the only code worth making unstoppable is the code people are trying to stop”
Although he was making a quip, I really do believe he set the stage for an important discussion about the relativity of laws and that a “universal” platform fundamentally could not be subject to law. Implementing all laws would be impossible so no laws. Anarchy. However, on a more abstracted level, would blockchain simply be a reset of governance virtually if Andreas of Ethereum himself says “ok some governance, but be careful?” No the difference is that if blockchain is indeed accessible by everyone in the world it has the potential to unify under any regulating authority. Once again, though, regulation is not the goal and is a very tricky subject. Personally, I am a fan of the oops clause that wipes. And remember the oops clause is for major events. Other regulations in place like KYC or AML are circumvented by spoofign techniques like CoinJoin and P2P exchanges. So what can governments actually do? Or better yet, how do you actually stop malicious activity?
Well there are blockchain analysis firms, but they are kind of bs with the whole 3d printer analogy (Facebook’s Libra Masterplan). The government does have power to influence the public view of certain platforms as it is the case with the Dissenter web Browser. Gab has gained notoriety and when it was publicly revealed that a mass shooter was an avid user of Gab, all associations to Gab, including their browser, which wishes to invoke the Gan extension on a fork of Brave without BAT, were shamed and investments went down heavily. A similar case is with Mastadon, where the initial rise of the alternative Twitter was due to servers being dedicated to lolicon and other publicly shunned communities. Although the potential for unjustly alienated or ridiculed communities to find safe haven in these self-regulating servers, the stigma is still there. As such there is potential, but I think more influential choice could be to implement a more open-minded regulatory model (e,g one that didn’t rely on revealing all identities), one of which cryptocurrencies could buy into (me: 0 o 0 — you: -_-). This would also improve the rate of commerce (Libra’s Biggest Problem).
It was noted in the questions that Augur is or will be uncomfortable by unstoppable code (depending on your definition of the latter), and if this question is in reference to the asasination markets, then I think they are absolved of liability since someone bought the escape hatch function which makes certain markets invalid. However, this could devolve once again into Andreas’ discussion regarding “can’t” and “won’t” in a government context, seeing their selling of the function as negligence since their inability of regulating was a function of their own actions (0o0 again…). Personally, as a man of science I cannot see any scientific innovation without its misuses so a product being misused has no bearing on the creator as intent cannot properly be accessed anyways. I am all for relegating to a previous agreement as in web 2.0 platforms.
In regulation and code, though, they mentioned that a lot of the current architecture is blindly libertarian and that some studies have suggested that certain confinements/regulations have lead to innovation. Although I agree with this sentiment as many articles took the U.S. view of regulations, I still believe the implementation of a few regulations would be opening an entire can of unstoppable worms. Now I do want to mention that the government could buy into the approach that the “when the cookie meets the blockchain” proposes since most data collection is already available. Still, this would be temporary until all platforms accept the blockchain at which there will be no need for exchanges and other middlemen. Furthermore, it would be limited to nefarious characters who made online transactions, but then again it could expose a network (e.g. the identification of one nefarious character with the cluster intersection attack could lead to the monitoring via a blockchain analysis firm of his/her payments which may bring other characters to light as figuring out who to surveil becomes more clear).
Now the REP coin is an interesting idea because it incentivizes participation and adds a weighted component to bet making, but it is also subjective according to a Medium article on how to use a REP token since you can gain/ REP tokens by being on the right side of the debate. This goes back to the idea of relative morals. Yet, being right could be determined by the consensus of the REP community, in which a certain degree of democracy is introduced, but alienates minorities and the idea that you can buy reputation on the market kind of defeats my point about its benefits.
As for law enforcement framing, I agree with the idea of balance and the concern with warrants, but I would say warrants have a different purpose and if you want to protect against illegal web activities, then protection should be enacted on the web in possible forms I mentioned in previous paragraphs. The surveillance studies framing makes a lot of good points including the social impact on individualism and the political nature of such surveillance systems in the past (e.g. FBI surveillance of MLK). Personally, the price of freedom is too high for mass surveillance and any regulation via outlets mentioned before (shaping public view of platforms or cluster intersection attacks and jointly working with blockchain analysis firms) should be costly. I think that surveiling everyone because it is cheaper than finding someone to surveil is bogus and regulatory bodies need to look harder at available data. Blockchain currently works the way it does without KYC in the blockchain and data is still unknowingly collected by third party trackers, yet blockchain is still very enabling.