Buy (a license to) my new digital object: The blockchain, temporality, veracity, and authority in the digital sphere

In a course that was exploring culture and technology as productive processes and the influence of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on culture and society, I wanted to explore the blockchain as a new process that has been posited as an influential new technology in the digital space. I argue that the blockchain will alter notions of temporality (through timestamps), truth and verifiability (through the black boxing of verification), as well as authority (given completely to the machine technology), which is now being delegated to a de-centralized machine process that is argued to be foolproof. I also discuss the indeterminacy of the blockchain technology, as it has taken many shapes and argued in many different ways, but has not fully “become” as a technology.

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