OIKOS Talk | Speculating With Money: Futures, Faith, and Forecast in Cryptocurrency
The OIKOS Working Group at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a lunch talk with Finn Brunton, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU.
This talk will provide a context for discussing utopian and speculative monetary projects through a prehistory of cryptocurrencies — the technologies, subcultures, schemes, and fantasies that led up to the creation of Bitcoin and blockchain platforms. In recounting this prehistory, Professor Brunton will touch on subjects ranging from forged passports and international-waters enclaves, to libertarian silver mintmasters in the woods of New Hampshire, security technologies for paper money, heterodox economic theories, and a surprising number of frozen human heads. Through telling these four and a half stories about digital cash, Professor Brunton will lead a conversation about the historiography and futurity of money, especially currency, and the intersection of monetary and non-monetary values.
Finn Brunton is Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt and scholar of the relationships between society, culture and information technology — how we make technological decisions, and deal with their consequences. He focuses on the adoption, adaptation, modification and misuse of digital media and hardware; privacy, information security, and encryption; network subcultures; hardware literacy; and obsolete and experimental media platforms. He is the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (MIT, 2013), and Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Technologists, and Utopians Who Created Cryptocurrency, forthcoming from Princeton UP in 2019.