In Fighting For The Perimeter: Huawei & The 5G Surveillance Empire. I looked at 5G as a new global surveillance surface, one largely dependent on Huawei, a company run by ex-officer of China's military.

Using the documentary American Factory as a springboard, this episode looks at how and why the West has allowed a strategic adversary to occupy key elements of its economic infrastructure. Transnational capital was supposed to create a world of free-market democracies. Instead, China has used the free market system to maintain and grow itself into a dominant ‘command economy’, based on a highly technologized form of authoritarian capitalism. 

What are the consequences of hooking up our factories, nuclear power production, and networking infrastructure to a Chinese state which is openly seeking empire and hegemony? 

This is a kind of precursor to the next episode in this sequence, which will look at the role information technology is playing in the success of China’s centralised command economy. Why might a state based on centralised control succeed, in today's digital environment, where others in the past have failed?


This is part one of a two-part interview with Finn Brunton, author of 'Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency'. In this part we dig into the secret pre-history of Bitcoin, including the World War 2 origins of public/private key cryptography, how Proof Of Work was initially proposed as a means to fight spam,  and how the 'Extropian' movement - which, Finn explains, stood for 'more life, more energy, more time, more space, more money... more everything! - collected an uncanny number of the early engineers contributing to what would eventually become Bitcoin.

If there's one key takeaway from this episode, it's that there's no one Satoshi Nakamoto -- Bitcoin's a bricolage of math, technology and ingenuity stretching back at least seventy years. Do any of the Extropians who had themselves cryogenically preserved, we wonder, have bitcoin wallets still till accruing value -- and will they still be able to recall their word seeds when they're brought back to life in a hundred years' time?