The Dark Side Of Decentralization

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The Invisible Influence of Language

Is decentralization inherently a good thing? These days, there’s a lot of talk about decentralization. Decentralized social media platforms can allow us to own our own data. Decentralized cryptocurrencies can enable bank-free financial transactions. Decentralized 3D printing can allow us to fabricate anything we want.But if the world lives on Bitcoin, we may not be able to sanction nation states like Russia when they invade sovereign nations. If 3D printing is decentralized, anyone can print their own weapons at home. Decentralization takes on new meaning when we’re talking about decentralizing the capacity for catastrophic destruction. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we explore the history of decentralized weaponry, how social media is effectively a new decentralized weapon, and how to wisely navigate these threats. Guiding us through this exploration is Audrey Kurth Cronin — one of the world’s leading experts in security and terrorism. Audrey is a distinguished Professor of International Security at American University, and the author of several books — most recently: Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists.Clarification: in the episode, Tristan refers to a video of Daniel Schmachtenberger’s as “The Psychological Pitfalls of Working on Existential Risk.” The correct name of the video is “Psychological Pitfalls of Engaging With X-Risks & Civilization Redesign.”RECOMMENDED MEDIA Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s TerroristsAudrey Kurth Cronin’s latest book, which analyzes emerging technologies and devises a new framework for analyzing 21st century military innovationPsychological Pitfalls of Engaging With X-Risks & Civilization RedesignDaniel Schmachtenberger’s talk discussing the psychological pitfalls of working on existential risks and civilization redesignPolicy Reforms ToolkitThe Center for Humane Technology’s toolkit for developing policies to protect the conditions that democracy needs to thrive: a comprehensively educated public, a citizenry that can check the power of market forces and bind predatory behaviorRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES22 – Digital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey Tang: https://www.humanetech.com/podcast/23-digital-democracy-is-within-reach  28 – Two Million Years in Two Hours: A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari: https://www.humanetech.com/podcast/28-two-million-years-in-two-hours-a-conversation-with-yuval-noah-harari45 – Is World War III Already Here? Guest: Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster: https://www.humanetech.com/podcast/45-is-world-war-iii-already-here

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