[iDC] iDC Digest, Vol 55, Issue 31
rushkoff at rushkoff.com
Tue Jul 14 14:02:32 UTC 2009
On Jul 14, 2009, at 8:00 AM, idc-request at mailman.thing.net wrote:
> When you say threaten central control are you allowing for forms of
> decentralized surveillance and control? And, with regard to banking,
> do you have in mind the
> crazy disequilibrium of financial markets and the resulting
> uncertainties and extremes or something else?
Well, it all folds in on itself.
My main focus is the *opportunity* for decentralized value creation.
This means financial activity and transactions that occur between
individuals and small groups, rather than through central bank-issued
currency, by borrowing from banks, or by working within large
corporate structures. These kinds of person-to-person, bottom-up,
decentralized activity was made illegal in the Renaissance, and it's
still pretty impractical today, given regulations written by the
lobbyists who mean to perpetuate centralized corporate control of
I think "decentralized surveillance and control" is an interesting
construction, because it doesn't necessarily convey by whom. Real
decentralized surveillance, to me, would be surveillance being
conducted by small groups or individuals without traditional
surveillance powers. A kid monitoring his government, from the safety
of his bedroom and the anonymity of proxy.
But I have a feeling you were talking about the way that decentralized
technologies can also be used by central authorities. Which is
absolutely true. The question then becomes whether technology is
biased more towards their use, or ours (if we take ourselves to be the
As for banking, I am referring to a whole lot. Banking, for me, is the
industry currently in charge of distributing centrally issued currency
to all businesses and individuals. Banking is a strictly regulated
monopoly. I am interested in the way that technologies such as
computers and networking create opportunities for other groups and
individuals to develop currencies more biased towards their own needs
and transactions, and less biased to the need of bankers to extract
value from our exchanges.
It's definitely a big topic, though, and I don't know that I have time
to figure out the whole talk I plan to give in advance. The closest
would be my book, Life Inc.
If you want to read it but don't have the means to pay, go to
rushkoff.com/life and use the password life.
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