In this holiday episode I met up with super early Bitcoin adopter Brad Mills to discuss the strange new world we're entering as Bitcoin reaches new all-time highs, and the global financial system enters a period of unprecedented stress. Why were the very first Bitcoiners drawn to Bitcoin, before anyone else believed in it? Could there be common characteristics amongst these earliest adopters which might make them a strange kind of community? What is the world they'd like to see Bitcoin bring about? And, perhaps most important, how will the world change with a bunch of newly minted, left-libertarian billionaires looking to shake things up?
We were supposed to discuss the Weird World of DeFi, but that's gonna have to wait for a future episode because we got sidetracked discussing Brad's interesting history, what led him to Bitcoin, and the strange future implied by a bunch of wild-eyed libertarians running around as freshly minted millionaires.
I hope you enjoy the episode!
In this episode, I met Emerson Brooking, a fellow at the Digital Forensics Lab and author of LikeWar, to take a deep dive into the topic of online disinformation. I put to Emerson my feelings that what people are calling the 'post-truth' world has in fact been in gestation long before the internet, and that a lot of the arguments about today's epistemic disorder come down to sour grapes over the apparition of new information incumbents capable of creating and distributing disorderly narratives, at scale. His responses surprised me.
If you're interested in digging deeper into this topic, you can check out the latest episode of my new documentary project, SCHISM, at youtube.com/SCHISM.
In this episode, we meet Alex Kehaya of VPN Orchid to discuss the company's radical new decentralized approach to improving privacy for internet users. As you'll hear, Orchid's model solves a lot of the problems associated with traditional models — providing better anonymity and privacy, and reduced exposure to the honeypot problem that's always plagued centralized services. This episode will be of great interest to anyone looking to augment their online privacy without relying on a single centralized service — and the potential for decentralization to improve our digital lives.
In this episode, journalist and writer Joseph Menn discuss the seminal hacking crew Cult Of The Dead Cow. CoDC was one of the key forces behind the creations of 'hacktivism', which tries to contribute political change via formal and informal hacking operations. Of particular interest here is how CoDC's work has more than occasionally dovetailed with American foreign policy -- especially with regards to China. Joseph Menn is on Twitter @JosephMenn, and his book on the Cult Of The Dead Cow is available at all good bookshops.
In this episode, we talk to Troy Murray about snglsDAO: a BitTorrent and blockchain-based system for distributing and monetizing video content, the crazy amounts of money SingularDTV raised in their ICO, and why the ICO system seems to have provided a bad incentive to develop actual products. Find out how snglsDAO is intending to take power away from centralized services like YouTube, why that goal suddenly seems incredibly urgent, and why a Distributed Autonomous Organization is the right way to go about it.
In this episode Jamie talks with Evan Henshaw Plath, aka @rabble, about how he sees the world during and after Covid-19 - and the role for decentralised technologies, bitcoin, and survivable communication systems in whatever comes next. Evan's currently building Verse, a social network built on the Scuttlebutt protocol.
In this episode, we meet up with Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, to discuss how Taiwan eliminated Covid-19 with only 7 deaths. Find out how information technology was instrumental in Taiwan's success, from helping source and distribute masks, to enabling citizen engagement through direct democracy. And finally, we dig into how this ongoing experiment with direct democracy in Taiwan has helped avoid the deadly plague of conspiracy theories, social polarization, and what some people are now calling the 'epistemic crisis' we're experiencing in the West.
In this episode, I talked with Ben Buchanan author of The Hacker And The State. We look at Ben's research into 'Shadow Brokers', the mysterious hacker group who first appeared in the summer of 2016, attempting to auction off a treasure trove of previously unknown NSA exploits. We discuss the hackers' tense relationship with the media, possible suspects including Kaspersky Labs, and motivations Shadow Brokers may have had beyond their claims that it was 'all about the Bitcoins'.
In this episode, returning guest Abhistha -- now Assistant Professor in network security at the University of Utwente -- digs into his latest research on the real economic impact of distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks such as the Mirai botnet. With the internet-of-things continuing to grow as an attack surface, and compromised devices increasing both in number and processing capacity, we take an in-depth look at the underground economics of botnets -- and why some large corporations may not be owning up to the true extent of the threat to their bottom line.
In this episode, we meet Rich Myers of mesh networking company GoTenna. Rich is developing the Lot49 protocol, which both allows Lightning transactions over a local mesh network and uses Bitcoin incentives to increase the adoption of the network. Rich and I discuss the history of wireless networking and how P2P meshes could turn out to be critical in a time of crisis; why and to what extent we can consider our contemporary networks compromised through what Rich calls 'The Eye of Sauron' problem; and how Lot49 enables an internet-minimized micropayments solution which could function in a distressed, post-COVID environment.