By Ann Brody
This talk offers insights on the Ethereum community from an anthropological perspective. Technology and society mutually constitute one another. Despite popular claims that depict blockchain as a “neutral technology,” it is important to critically examine how blockchain expresses itself in different social, economic and political contexts. The famous media theorist, Marshall McLuhan, once stated that technologies are extensions of the human; this means that blockchain as a technology, reflects our values, beliefs, and biases. Thus, it is important to critically reflect on the kinds of narratives and values we prescribe to blockchain and how in turn, actors within the blockchain community and beyond are influenced by them. Topics in this talk range from exploring the relationship between Ethereum protocol design and ideologies, the dangers of techno-utopianism, techno-colonial solutionism, and general recommendations for how Ethereum builders can adopt more socially-minded frameworks in their work to create a more ethical and accessible Ethereum ecosystem.
Devcon V: Day 1: Room D
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