Latest News and Comment from Education

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom

What is blockchain?

Those in power will say:

Blockchain is a secure way for people to own and control their digital footprint, the data they create living through devices and wearable / implantable / ingestible technology in “smart” environments. In essence, it is a digital ledger that keeps track of EVERYTHING across a decentralized computer network that is said to be permanent and secure. Picture a real time account book that keeps track not only of your monetary assets (bitcoin – this is how much folks understand blockchain); but also civil records like birth certificates, marriage certificates, and court proceedings; voting records; property ownership; certifications and education credentials; health information, including DNA, bioinformatics, and data from wearable technologies; public benefit access like food stamps; and now even one’s movements (geolocation data) and social interactions via QR code health passports and contact tracing.

What I say:

Whether we know it or not, when we agree to have our lives linked to blockchain, we are agreeing to live in a behaviorist panopticon. In exchange for convenience and limited privileges, we give up our free will. The future being handed to us is one that will be shaped by surveillance, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning, and feedback loops. We risk swapping our vibrant human spirits, beautiful in their passionate creativity and flawed vulnerability, for sanitized digital twins that will be managed as human capital by callous technocrats to profit social impact investors. Before we walk through the door of digital identity, realize it opens onto a maze designed to disorient, confuse, and control us.
The reason it’s important to talk about this now is because states are setting up task forces on blockchain government. Illinois convened a blockchain working group in 2018. California issued Blockchain in California: A Road Map this July. An August webinar sponsored by the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative on their big-data Covid reopen partnership started with a discussion about the timeliness of moving to blockchain systems and digital governance. All of this is being spurred by the push to virtualize social interactions in response to the lockdowns we’ve experienced over the past six months. With this great rush to adopt emerging technologies, it is important to grasp the bigger picture.
The NAACP spent time considering the racial implications of this technology in 2019 and adopted a resolution that opposed linking blockchain identity to receiving any public service, including education. That resolution passed first in California and later at the July 2019 national meeting in Detroit. You can see the resolution CONTINUE READING: Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears