Hi,

On 01.03.2018 04:32, Morlock Elloi wrote:
> I have hard time understanding how is blockchain special, unique, and
> apart from other technologies, relative to dystopian outlook in the
> article.
> 

Yeah, it is rather dystopian. There is this logical expansion for
commodified societies inherent to blockchain technologies that is the
focus of the article.

> The only difference between blockchain and prior technologies (public
> cryptography, including signatures and certificates, databases, etc.) is
> the verifiable permanence of the previously unknown commitment: once
> something is put there, it is hard to modify later. I want to be very
> specific here: if someone has committed something to blockchain in the
> past, and the verifier knew nothing about that commitment until the
> present, the verifier can verify the commitment once it gets interested
> in it.
> 
> This is the *only* difference. There is nothing else.
> 
> Blockchain is specifically redundant if:
> 
> a - the verifier knew about the commitment at the time of committing
> (just keep the hash);
> 
> b - the verifier wants to check authenticity of the commitment
> transported over untrusted channel, from a trusted authenticated
> committer (use committer's public key);
> 
> There are more, but these two are relevant.
> 
> While the article elaborates on real issues when computing machines
> start to mediate the totality of human interactions, these issues have
> nothing to do with blockchain, that's bs. Using popularity of the
> 'blockchain' meme to prop them up is misleading and will fire back.

the difference is that blockchains are automated verifiers and reference
for verification. i agree that much of the projected ideas around
blockchains may be solved with common techniques. and that blockchains
still need some further development. but once the proof is cheap and the
transactions are fast, it scales well enough. and there will be thousand
blockchains. see for instance Porsche's one blockchain per car:

https://newsroom.porsche.com/en/themes/porsche-digital/porsche-blockchain-panamera-xain-technology-app-bitcoin-ethereum-data-smart-contracts-porsche-innovation-contest-14906.html

Or Lenovo's Patent for paper verification:

http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20180046889&IDKey=4E2C6B937301&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fappft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO2%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-adv.html%2526r%3D1%2526p%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526d%3DPG01%2526S1%3D20180046889.PGNR.%2526OS%3Ddn%2F20180046889%2526RS%3DDN%2F20180046889

Of course, this is still R&D.

> 
> Every single of the enumerated mechanisms can be better executed without
> blockchain. Immutability of previously unknown commitments is not a
> factor in any of them. In each of them either (a), (b), or both, hold true.
> 
> This includes smart contracts, which are programs ran on distributed VM
> where the majority of identical results wins. The results mean
> something, but who cares? The only things the results affect are inside
> the VM itself (like transfer of funds of blockchain-based currency
> between accounts.) For anything outside VM we are back to (a) and (b).

There is this automated link between value administration and 'contract'
execution. Imho there has nothing been like this before. And it is scary.

> 
> For example, the smart contract stipulates that you must have sex with
> person X if account Z transfers specific amount to account Y. This
> happens, but you don't feel like it. So X sends the police to force you.
> This is much easier achieved by registering the contract on the sex
> police computer.

Enforcement of contracts is subject to the regime's inherent power's. Of
course. This will never change.



> 
> And so on.
> 
> 
> 
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