intro’d to Brett here:
Brett starts at 16 min (ethics of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech) – may 2016
17 min – cryto currency is a subset of my work.. i see blockchain crew as one movement w/in many movements..
18 min – germany – cash.. netherlands – digital..
19 min – interacting w data base.. feeding messages into banking sector asking them to change data bases for you… adding layers to existing system… how entire payment system works.. but nothing really does move.. just change in info
20 min – imagining money moving is like a mental leap
21 min – bitcoin not that much diff.. just all together and transparent..
not p2p.. have to go via a system.. ie: please can i move.. to … then both have to look at data base to see if it happened.. so basically referring to 3rd party.. decentralized media read
22 min – describing blockchain tech – decent distributed shared.. basic idea: not controlled by single large power.. and some kind of network structure.. and digital.. ledger as info store..
23 min – so parse then: decent digi database.. or shared dig ledger.. tend to see people using combo of these things..
24 min – why that system.. why is structure useful to me.. ie: coordinating action between strangers so they can reach consensus.. shared account of reality between strangers.. et al
25 min – justifications.. why it’s better than other things that do same..
1\ political description – away from politics of central institutions.. (26 min – thomas hobbes – leviathan – strangers needing some element of trust or won’t work together).. liberatarians want free markets and private property.. so know you need a third party to protect that.. so.. the state.. problem.. institutions required for that: people.. need a state that protects property rights and contracts.. that’s it.. key element of liberatarian philosophy.. when blockchain came out.. liberatarians way excited… now don’t rely on human institutions… article: techno leviathan..
2\ useful in context where centralized structure has broken down.. in vulnerable situations…. ie: emergency relief w mobiles
32 min –
3\ corporate take over of blockchain tech.. in beginning corps weren’t interested.. but recently attractive.. could it improve business process in corp setting ie: 40 banks got together to explore it… so replicate what banks already do in more efficient way.. by closing down.. re centralizing them.. a lot of money flowing into this.. a lot of original blockchainers.. consultants to these guys.. wear suits a lot.. paid lots of money for consultancy contracts.. a bit of takeover going on.. which is how any kind of business process works..
4\ obscure.. asthetic.. sheer beauty of the code.. via coders.. will it make my processes more efficient..
if put all justifications together.. get.. more democratic.. helps in vulnerable situations.. more efficient.. and beautiful..
35 min – not obvious that efficiency works very well with resilience.. efficient systems are often quite centralized...efficiency at same time as resilience.. remains to be seen if can be done
perhaps – hosting life bits..
36 min – not definitive conclusion on ethics of blockchain.. but more thought points on ambiguity.. has different potentialities.. start thinking about that..
1\ in social anarchist groups.. often same critique of centralization.. but views diff reason.. conserv liberalism – state is destroying me/individuality.. defensive individualism…… whereas in anarchist thinking.. same for large de centralized institutions.. and state structures.. but rather.. that they don’t allow us to experience our social nature.. not individ nature.. large structures they break down human society.. alienate.. corrupt…. need to break them down so people can re learn what true community/nature is..
38 min –
1\ first provocation.. if you’re thinking de centralized w blockchain.. are you thinking atoms or molecules… anarchist is more about molecules.. groups of people networked together in federation.. small groups networked together… ie: are nodes individuals.. or groups.. changes political dynamic of how you see blockchain tech..
39 min – chris ellis.. said.. thinks i’m missing pointn in context of internet.. 100s of 1 000 s of people interacting.. so going to be a few that will screw people over.. so why i as engineer (chris) want to build system that has trustless ness built in to protect against bad actors.. .. people like chris don’t desire a world full of atomic individuals interacting.. he lacks community.. he doesn’t beleive can have that in context of internet
perhaps – gershenfeld something else law
2\ the critique of centralization.. if have de cent .. how do change things.. if ie: hive mind.. and no one has control.. does anyone have any agency..like now .. development of network orgs like uber.. the more people who use it the more useful it becomes.. so platform becomes an attracta hub… but highly centralized control.. so could go to that ie: room in silicon valley and get them to change.. in de centralized.. if not designed properly.. can’t change it.. got rid of head.. but also perhaps ability to change..
3\ open access w/o open governance.. where is power to change..
45 min – imagine road appears.. infrastructure for interaction.. but no actual entity to approach to change it.. so real power lies latent w original creators.. alternatively.. people w most access to influence/capital in system… on other hand..most people highly alienated and not able to change anything..
46 min – de cent infrastructure.. but no decision making process… need both
redefine decision making..
47 min – those were meta critiqes of de centralization.. don’t be auto convinced that de cent leads to empowerment
key element of blockchain tech – you can add things to data base.. but can’t take things away.. no editing.. only altering.. this was one of claims that was empowering.. ie: couldn’t tamper with it.. the idea was.. the act of tampering is the thing that damages people… and that powerful things try to change things.. abuse of power takes place through changing.. there was never the.. the act of editing.. could be rectifying..
49 min – if info going in.. influenced by powerful entities.. hard powered abuse… so ambiguity of wether want to be able to change info or have no tampering.. ie: could get bad info hard coded forever…
50 min – on contract fetichism.. and how contracts can’t be tampered with.. if so.. better hope people engaging in contracts have same level of power
51 min – leviathan point.. not just protect contracts.. but can contest contracts..
imagine all the energy if we disengage from contracts.. any measuring of transactions.. and validating of people.. no?
53 min – historically contracts are used by powerful parties to ensure their own interests.. so might want to see through that lens on all this contract talk..
so what are blockchains currently being used for.. ie: you can use infrastructure.. to do same things.. just in de cent form..
original bitcoin protocol.. key thing was .. how do you make info scarce.. reason we trust money in bank account.. believe institutions can’t just change it at whim.. i have 500 pounds in bank.. but you don’t actually have that because believe process around that info have objectified it.. same a bitcoin.. no coins.. just info recorded as data..
55 min – once create info commodity can move them between people..
3rd element that happened.. after created tokens.. can we make them avatars or symbols for other things.. ie: to rep some kind of phyle/file.. some 1-1 relationship.. artifact.. next phase.. apply to physical world.. tokens fused into ie: iot.. ie: can’t start a car unless crypto token..
56 min – making things in real world unusable unless interacting in digital system.. key of how you fuse real into digital world
pretty much what corps do anyway.. make commodities out of digital/physical artifacts..
57 min – is this (blockchain) becoming a tool for automated private control.. or actually infrastructure for some sort of emancipation..
problem in tech/blockchain community when people make claims.. ie: top down tech.. this is top down.. ie: developed by global elites.. then presented to world as something used to solve social/political problems.. inorganic problems out of context.. ie: blockchain tech will solve corruption.. because of transparency.. this is completely inorganic though..taken completely out of context
58 min – corruption is not a tech problem or something you solve.. it’s something that emerges from structure of society..
it’s to do w socio econ situations.. levels of ed.. ability to obtain opportunities in society.. structural layers that lead to corruption.. putting tech in doesn’t solve it.. rather if put tech in.. will corrupt tech..
59 min – by itself.. tech doesn’t really do anything.. doesn’t really solve problems..
1:00 – liberal thinking: state is imagined as external violence.. exists outside of people exerts will on people .. but state is more subtle..
state systems are essentially held in people’s heads.. held collectively by entire populations by the way people think.. it’s not an external entity that can be solved.. it’s like an entire mindset.. way of living.. corruption can’t just be engineered away.. they’re endemic to way people think and operate in society..
the need to go deep enough – simple enough – ie: self talk as data..
1:01 – doa – like a decent vc fund.. amazed – doa’s mission – this would just be laughed at.. ie: exist for betterment of members by unstoppable code.. this is immediately bizarrely ambiguous to me
1:03 – actually while trying to be highly democratic is being highly plutocratic… curators.. are basically a bunch of friends.. a certain demo profile.. does this really rep an authentic social movement…? this picture (of curators) might contrast with stated principles..
to clarify.. i’m quite positive on blockchain tech..
1:05 – q&a
Author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money. Exploring urban ecology, economic anthropology, P2P tech & alternative currency
People like to say the money system is underpinned by the modern state. I like to say the modern state is underpinned by the money system
P2P Foundation (@P2P_Foundation) tweeted at 5:44 AM – 2 Apr 2018 :
Brett Scott on the opportunities and challenges of transforming the economy https://t.co/Up5yDVqlKf (http://twitter.com/P2P_Foundation/status/980772875085938689?s=17)
history and anthropology point out many instances of societies that do not rely on trade, or do not even have private property regimes, and that have completely alternative ways to provision themselves..t
let’s focus on that sans contracts, money, measure
affluence w/o abundance et al
A mutual credit system is when a network of people create an economic network and then set up a system to record when members give energy, labour or goods to another member of the network. The member who receives the labour goes negative, and the person who gave it goes positive. It’s essentially a ledger system for recording obligations between people. Members go in and out of credit and debt with each other. Over time, this is basically what a monetary system is: I contribute things, but I also needs things. When I contribute to the system I get positive credit, when I need things I am using up my credits or going into debt. This creates a cycle between members.You can create these networks with, say, 150 people, and I think they are one of the most undervalued approaches *within local currency movements
i think the undervalued piece is doing this *w/in local currency movements.. sand measuring transactions.. just trusting that truly free people will only take what they need and in that freedom and affluence w/o abundance.. they will also offer up just what is needed..
So there is local banking, local currencies, mutual credit, but there are also systems like community shares, which allow you to raise equity finance by offering shares to your local community. These have been relatively successful on a small scale
There is a whole raft of work around community cohesion that is required before we even start to develop ways for communities to finance themselves.
imagine we just focus on the community ness and bag the finance ness
There are a lot of people trying to design local economic strategies that are volunteer-led or part-time.
If you can combine these alternatives with banking reform and policy changes, putting pressure on the existing banking system, you can then start to make a difference.
imagine if we disengage them from banking.. and policy..
So the implications are far more than data about transactions, and it’s not just states that find this useful, but corporations, too.
imagining bagging all that data.. and just focus ing on self-talk as data
rowson mechanical law..et al
Another endgame is machine learning and predictive analytics that try to predict, and ultimately steer, people’s behaviours. Banks themselves are interested in this approach, using data to influence behaviour.
waste of human.. and solar.. energy..
and of course banks are interested.. that’s not a sign that it’s humane
Blockchain is multi-layered. At its base, the original version, blockchain technology is essentially a means for a network of strangers to keep track of their positions relative to each other, without a central intermediary.
imagine blockchain just keep track of 7bn daily curiosities.. in order to connect us..
Then blockchain emerged as a technology that could facilitate transactions between people without requiring intermediary institutions.
or.. as a means to facilitate curiosities w/o requiring the measuring of transactions..
If you start to link these ‘smart contract’ entities together you can automate all sorts of interactions.
We are used to this tacky distinction between ‘states vs markets’, but I start from the assumption that there has always been a symbiosis between states and markets. The state creates the underlying structures that enable large-scale markets to operate.
In the long-term the ideal is to try build systems that do not rely on external regulation, but that have positive principles built into their DNA
imagine a system built right into our dna
Also the energy required to work towards different campaigns means focusing obsessively on certain priorities. If your whole world is lobbying in Brussels or Westminster, you may become dismissive or intolerant of the direct action strategies of activists scaling the Houses of Parliament.
“There’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt — above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.” – David Graeber
Since I specialise in not specialising, it makes it easier for me to to see the points of intersection. There needs to be more people who hop between different approaches, overtly spending more time in different communities. The technology community, the localist community, the policy community, the artistic community, and so on. Hybrid approaches are often the most interesting.
I’ve often heard people say “I don’t understand the finance sector because I’m no good at maths’. Finance, though, is not a mathematical science. It’s an ancient political artform of convincing people with power to grant money for activities now, in exchange for benefits later
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Suitpossum/status/1019551974138761216
Peter Vander Auwera (@petervan) tweeted at 4:46 AM – 19 Aug 2018 :
Brett Scott @Suitpossum : Hardcoding ethics into fintech – Conscious FinTech Talk | P2P Foundation https://t.co/JlDegnvyyS > his whitepaper is interesting (http://twitter.com/petervan/status/1031130253345861632?s=17)
8 min – finance is essentially the art of writing contracts that grants people rights to future money in exchange for giving present money.. take present money and use it to mobilize the things in markets..
total graeber f&b same law
normally gaining contracts from huge scale orgs
10 min – bureaucracies we have to learn how to interact with. have to fill out the forms.. have to interact w the rules set by the financial institutions themselves
from inside institution looking out.. for any scaled/bureaucratic system.. have to standardized rule system and ways of processing large numbers of people.. ie: better thru spreadsheet than individual
11 min – so power dynamic between those entering contracts and those designing contracts
12 min – in most of our lives dealing w huge scale bureaucracies.. and never really know what’s going on behind (them).. to change that power dynamic
too much ness
13 min – on co’s adding layers inbetween – from tweet: these co’s make it easier to interact w a toxic system.. don’t make a critique of underlying system.. just trying to make it faster.. have an impulse to automate
14 min – key component of corp capitalism.. always have a drive to automate.. streamline and cut costs..
the financial industry – the automation of the financial sector.. either want to automate people inside the tower.. or automate the user experience
15 min – finance is the art of writing contracts about money.. just need pen and paper and rules to enforce it
23 min – getting rid of all interactions that don’t involve apps
24 min – add layers on top of fin sector.. but fear .. so design interface so feels like interacting w human
25 min – if want to automate fin.. also have to automate how people define who they are.. biometrics coming in as a way to authenticate yourselves
26 min – drive to replace service w self service.. presented as new options for you.. but then use them as justification of getting rid of cashiers.. then make it harder to interact w cashiers.. so push you to self serve.. banks right now are doing that.. slowly wean people off non digital.. non automated .. interactions.. because.. banks cut costs..
31 min – location data.. inferring how good your credit is.. you don’t even input it just tracks your movement
32 min – so .. having made this trajectory of finance.. how does it impact financial ethics..t
is financing ness itself ethical..?
33 min – 3 key areas: 1\ how treat retail borrowers – power dynamics of getting people into debt 2\ how are investors treated 3\ what do institutions then go and finance.. lend to.. using retail investors money..
36 min – they say.. if you want to bring ethics into finance.. go to the financial ethics..
37 min – w/in rational/scientific finance.. are many embedded ethical principles taken for granted.. ie: financing slave labor
38 min – only acting w ethics if no overt concern.. so fin ethics only if acting w/indifference
40 min – ethical.. good return.. social consequences.. if there are.. put a cost toward that loss/destruction to externalities
42 min – if want overt ethical fin.. will have to break down justifications that make it alright.. ie: create ethical pause.. automation of finance doesn’t actually do this..
44 min – what i say in paper.. we need to research what automation does to ethical fin
1\ does automation reduce awareness of fin professionals
2\ does automation reduce customer awareness of investment ethics – (nutmeg it.. automate it.. stop thinking about it)
3\ does automation reduce accountability to retail borrowers.. (ie: inability to get credit damages life aspects)
i think these are the wrong questions if we really want to get to ehtics
4\ does automation lead to fin surveillance – i’m doing a lot of work around this.. it’s of significant concern.. what happens when aware of watchers.. *how does this impact your inner state
5\ does automation reduce customer autonomy.. this is a far future kind of thing.. i use menu for an analogy.. lays out options.. menus increasingly delimit what you can do
spinach or rockness..
53 min – q&a
Earthworms are infinitely more vital to our life on earth than hedge funds. They get paid nothing, and hedge fund managers get paid everything. There is no correlation between income and usefulness
Brett Scott (@Suitpossum) tweeted at 4:36 AM – 29 May 2019 :
If you wish to learn about a corporation’s mission statement, it is not always advisable to look in the ‘about us’ section of their website. Rather, the section you’re probably looking for is called ‘investor relations’ https://t.co/81X3g11bjK(http://twitter.com/Suitpossum/status/1133683479638618114?s=17)
Brett Scott (@Suitpossum) tweeted at 4:21 AM on Thu, Sep 17, 2020:
The anthropologist in an economist world: my tribute to David Graeber https://t.co/HNWZI7VX0L
anthropology assumes that a human network always precedes its individual members, and that care and reproduction precede any form of solo heroics.
Anthropologists, thus, were among the first to realise that this term – ‘individual’ – which is used extensively in our modern world, is not so much a description of reality as it is an ideological concept that emerges from within certain groups, under certain conditions, in certain times and places. More specifically, it’s a concept that flourishes in the presence of vast nation state systems that remove the need for close kinship.
At its worst, then, mainstream economics has had a very bad habit of taking a historically specific economic system – based around capitalist monetary exchange and unleashed by large-scale states – and generically labelling it as ‘Economics’, and then universalising it and projecting it backwards in time into situations where it never existed.
David was a master of a style of anthropology that opens your eyes to the fact that the pallette of economic options is far wider than you might think.
He was often introverted, but was committed to helping others, which meant he was constantly at risk of being drained of his energy by eager believers in his work.