Posts Tagged: The State

How Do We Know Who People Are?

It seems worthwhile to revisit the idea of the universal reputation market, in light of Schrödinger's Satoshi Nakamoto. Is this man Satoshi, or isn't he? For now, he equally is and he definitely isn't the progenitor of Bitcoin. No one has yet elaborated a way to decide.

One way, of course, that we might discover if this person is Satoshi Nakamoto is through constant surveillance—both physical and digital. Would that be a good thing?

How do we know who people are? We have some definite if hackable systems, like social security numbers. Names are a problem; sometimes unique, often not. So people are who they say they are—except, more [...]


"Do What You Love"—Oh, But Not That! On Recognizing Sex Work As Work

Astra Taylor’s forthcoming book The People’s Platform, about who has power and who gets paid in the age of the Internet, mentions the following quote about the virtues of “open-source” (read: unpaid) labor from Internet guru Yochai Benkler:

“Remember, money isn’t always the best motivator. If you leave a fifty-dollar check after dinner with friends, you don’t increase the probability of being invited back. And if dinner doesn’t make it entirely obvious, think of sex.”

That quote, unsurprisingly, is from a TED Talk. The talk's audience chose to reflexively laugh rather than actually think about sex or about work. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the audience [...]


Yoga Studios Escape Watchful Eye of the State, Now Free To Hurt People Randomly

While Virginia is now figuring out whether to regulate yoga studios, New York State's Education Department has just lifted the randomly-adopted practice of claiming the state must license yoga teacher training-they were threatening massive fines to studios that didn't register with the state. (Bills supporting the studios were introduced in the state Senate but the Education Dept. backed down before they made it to the floor.) Now absolutely anyone can say they are a yoga teacher trainer, and take thousands of dollars from young, bendy, unemployed people, and have them go out and injure others. Finally, the deregulation of an industry we can all get behind! So come over [...]