Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Money Wisdom #425

"I brought up Stephen J. Gould’s (1984) essay on the contingency of human equality with my programmer friend. This is the essay where Gould argues we humans are lucky that there is no other extant hominin species concurrently occupying planet Earth. Things would have turned out quite differently for our moral philosophy if there were. What if, I said, we create new consciousnesses in our experiments with smart contracts? Even if we didn’t, what if the law decided it needed to treat smart contracts as having promisees, promisors, and beneficiaries and thereby concocting for them legal personhood? Would we have to contend with whether those persons had the same rights as natural persons? But the corporation is a person, he said. And then trailed off. I was left to ponder whether the distinction between natural and legal person would be something that could be tracked in a blockchain. How would we account for that?"

Bill Maurer Re-risking in Realtime: On Possible Futures for Finance after the Blockchain in BEHEMOTH A Journal on Civilisation (2016) Vol 9 Iss 2 

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