Is blockchain technology the greatest hope for reducing systemic racism?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Seattle, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Assuming the programing algorithm isn't racist in nature taking the human out of the process (in effect) should greatly reduce systemic racism don't you think? The same would apply to any other kind of systemic "unfairness".
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Are you suggesting blockchain is "woke"?

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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You're taking the middleman out so if you take the system out it's hard to have systemic racism or systemic anything else.

    You are replacing the system with an algorithm so yes, it would seem to have the potential to be more "woke", don't you think?
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? Blockchain is just a tool that enables secure recordkeeping - currently used for currency alternatives. It's great that there's no "middleman" but that's been true of the telephone, the Internet and a great many social media platforms. None of them have eliminated systemic racism. They're all just tools, and a tool can be used any way you like.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    But it will be.
     
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Personally:
    I do not think that you can get rid of racism if you keep talking about it with the assumption that it exists.
     
  10. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Racism and computer technology are completely independent.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If there is systemic racism in banking and you get rid of traditional banking via a blockchain, that's potentially helpful. If you can't afford to be fully banked and now you can, that's also a good first step.

    If there is systemic racism in real estate and you eliminate the "system" ...you get my point. The interest did help eliminate systemic racism and blockchain has that same potential.
     
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Not possible, since the political survival of the ancestral Jacobin tradition (its countless offshoots since the "French revolt") depends upon periodically reiterating the eternal state of class or population group oppression, and its accompanying incarnation of revolutionary propaganda. Each era either raises the bar or refines down to ever more meticulous levels and details what constitutes injustice, so that progress is not perceived as improvement; or rather, an end to cultural hegemony is never accomplished.

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    Granted, at some point the current exploitation of race (paternal racism) will actually dry up as much the original feudal situation and the later transition to sponsorship of proles. But hopefully by then robots will qualify for rights and citizenship, so that the Crusades will not suffer a dry interlude with no proposed, hapless group of victims to be shepherds and saviors for.

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    Oh, apologies. I forgot that "victim" is now profane -- no longer ideologically correct in terms of the latest revision of the oppressive language list. See under the section titled "Language That Doesn't Say What We Mean": https://www.brandeis.edu/parc/accountability/oppressivelanguagelist.html
     
  13. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Personally, I feel that enslavement to the economic imperative is a much greater problem/sin/evil that needs out attention.
    Our governor wants to limit unemployment coverage/insurance to force people to go back to work at low paying jobs.
    I do not often use the B word, but she deserves it.
     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Only if people and computer technology are completely independent.
     
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The clash perhaps comes from algorithms outputted by machine learning being derived from statistical associations. Whereas human concocted rules/procedures may be more prescriptive (sprinkled heavily with concerns about "ought" rather than "is").

    That's not to say that a computer version of unsupervised knowledge acquirement would lack a "goal" that it has been assigned to achieve. But the task is not wallowing in the high magnitude of motivated reasoning, selective exploration, and consideration of extenuating circumstances that humans are regulated by.

    Granted, machine learning doesn't always revolve around unmitigated statistics. Targets like finding a method for maximization of efficiency may not require such. But I assume it's the former territory where any algorithms accused of bigotry by either Woke-conscious computer engineers or hovering social scientists slash humanitarian academics will be planted on an examination table for frog dissection.

    Radical egalitarians want the current measures of demographic categories to be reflected in all undertakings without imbalances -- otherwise their cognitive filters construe systematic bigotry as the explanation. Computer created algorithms should also not represent a population group as having a lopsided association with negative characteristics (like crime), compared to others. That's where "ought" has to artificially intervene and adjust a data-collected "is" that is intolerant of or blind to extenuating circumstances ferreted out by motivated human thought.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Not if only white people can get blockchain-enabled banking.
    But you can't eliminate the real estate "system." It will always exist. It will always be bought and sold (or otherwise allocated to people.) You can, however, work to eliminate the racism in real estate.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You definitely cannot get rid of a problem by pretending it does not exist.
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think you are being a little too fixated on this.

    You can sell direct seller to buyer. That, effectively, eliminates the current system.

    My point is that blockchain, by eliminating the middleman, can do a lot to provide transparency and can therefore be helpful in this area. It doesn't have to be a magic bullet or it's not worth discussing. Nothing stands up to scrutiny if the standard is that binary.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You can sell direct to buyer right now. We bought our house directly from the seller.
    I agree, it doesn't have to be perfect. But this isn't a solution that addresses the problem (IMO.)
     
  20. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Non sequitur.
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Can you give an example of a specific case of systemic racism that blockchain would remove? I.e. can you describe a systemic "unfairness" and then show how blockchain resolves it?

    Yes, blockchain can take out the middleman from systems, but is it really the middlemen that give rise to systemic racism rather than the overall system that they are part of? If the policies that govern something are unfortunately inherently racist, whether explicitly or not, the implementation of any system that adheres to those policies will similarly be so racist, whether it utilises blockchain technology or not.
    What you seem to be focussing on are the mechanisms of the system rather than what the system does to society. You're looking at a whether the car's engine is a combustion engine, with all the "middle-men" of moving parts that enables that engine to drive the wheels, or whether it is a much more efficient and simpler electric engine, with no moving parts etc. What you should be looking at is the direction the car is headed and why it is headed there, not really how. Systemic racism, in this analogy, is a property of the journey, not the car.
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't imply that you can only sell direct with blockchain.

    It is a new technology that will have many effects and IMO that is one of them. It's not "the" solution of race problems. It's a new reality that has the potential to help in that area as well as in many others IMO.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You could have racism inherent in a real estate system and having direct buyer to seller transactions could cut that segment of the real estate process out of the transaction (red lining).

    Maybe it's something smaller such as the current system just being too expensive with the middleman costs for some families. A more efficient system could have a more egalitarian effect.

    The primary solution to racism isn't going to be blockchain technology. The solution just may be to wait for the future. The baby boomers all die off, the population is younger and more diverse and systemic racism may just naturally decline.

    The future in all its forms is probably the solution and blockchain is one of those. It's inherently more democratic than most existing systems.

    For instance it could be implemented to satisfy some "Republicans" who want greater security of the voting process. Actually what they want is to use that as an excuse for eliminating the ease of mail-in voting.

    You can't get much more secure than blockchain so that would allow for greater mail-in voting. That's a much more democratic process.

    Many people around the world are unbanked or have no banking at all. Blockchain, decentralized finance addresses that. Something like Bitcoin allows one to store value even in the face of a government continuously reducing the purchasing power of the currency.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021

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