The Eleventh HOPE (2016): "Smart Cities and Blockchains: New Techno-Utopian Dreams or Nightmares" (Download)
Friday, July 22, 2016: 7:00 pm (Noether): History is littered with techno-utopian visions, particularly those of powerful American industrialists. Henry Ford’s Fordlandia, Walt Disney’s Epcot, Peter Thiel’s Seasteading. Technologies play a recurring role in inspiring and enabling these attempts to forge or impose new governmental and/or social relations. Techno-utopian dreams are once again emerging in the form of sensor and data-driven “smart” cities and decentralized, blockchain-based organizations. What are the similarities and differences between techno-utopian visions over time? What role does technology play in forming and operationalizing these visions? Who ultimately defines what a perfect society is? How does this determine whether the techno-utopian visions end up as dreams or nightmares?
Burcu Baykurt, James Cropcho, Benjamin Dean