[Lecture Series HS22] Cloud Empires and The Cryptographers’ Quest to Replace Politics with Technology

Details

Prof. Dr Vili Lehdonvirta
(Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford)

Abstract

Authorities protect us, but who will protect us from the authorities? Crypto-anarchists and cypherpunks have long dreamt of solving this ancient problem of political science with technology. Abusive government authorities were their original concern, but now the leaders of giant platform companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google have begun to exercise government-like authority over digital markets. In this talk I will use the stories of Bitcoin and The DAO to examine crypto-anarchists’ attempts to replace untrustworthy human authorities with incorruptible software code, identifying some fundamental flaws in the vision and proposing a new way forward. The talk is based on my new book Cloud Empires: How Digital Platforms Are Overtaking the State and How We Can Regain Control (MIT Press, September 2022)

Literature

  1. [BOOK] Cloud Empires: How Digital Platforms Are Overtaking the State and How We Can Regain Control (MIT Press, September 2022).
  2. [BOOK] Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis (MIT Press in 2014).

Time

Tuesday, 20th September, 2022
18:00 – 20:00

[Hybrid] KOL-E-18, University of Zürich,Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich

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Speakers

Prof. Dr Vili Lehdonvirta

Vili Lehdonvirta is a Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. His research into the intersection of digital technologies and economic organization has been supported by the European Research Council, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and other science funding agencies. He has served on the European Commission’s Expert Group on the Online Platform Economy and the High-Level Expert Group on Digital Transformation and EU Labour Markets. His previous book Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis was published by MIT Press in 2014 and translated to Chinese and Japanese. Lehdonvirta was born in Finland and worked as a software developer before his career in social science.

Timeline

Time Speaker Event Title Presentations
18:00 -18:15Prof. Dr Claudio TessoneWelcome & Introduction
18:15 -19:00Prof. Dr Vili LehdonvirtaCloud Empires and The Cryptographers’ Quest to Replace Politics with TechnologyRecording
19:00 -19:10Q&A
19:10 -19:30Apéro

Sponsors

UZH Blockchain Center

Trust Square

Dezentrum