A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley's High-Minded Tyranny

A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley's High-Minded Tyranny

Bitcoin is dominated by a small cadre of investors, and “mining” new coins is so expensive and electricity-draining that only large institutions can participate; Facebook’s advertising system is exploited by foreign governments and other malevolent political actors who have had free rein to spread disinformation and discord; and Google’s informal structure allows leaders to believe they can act in secret to dispense with credible accusations of harassment.In Freeman’s unstinting language, this rhetoric of openness “becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others.”Because “Tyranny” explains how things work, as opposed to how people say things work, it has become a touchstone for social critics of all stripes.

Bitcoin Will Burn the Planet Down. The Question: How Fast?

Bitcoin Will Burn the Planet Down. The Question: How Fast?

His calculations of how much energy—and planet-warming carbon emissions—the top four cryptocurrencies might be responsible for appears in an article in the journal Nature Sustainability today, joining a growing canon of peer-reviewed and rigorous work trying to put numbers to a problem the cryptocurrency world has been grappling with for years: How much energy blockchain-powered currencies consume, and how much does the answer matter?Whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is, the genius of his, her, or their idea for bitcoin—published almost exactly a decade ago—was in solving the key problem with digital currency: You can generate more by just copy-pasting.