Thinks 538

Chris Dixon: “Blockspace is space on a blockchain where you can run code and store data. Blockspace is different from traditional compute-space in that, until the advent of blockchains, software was always subordinate to hardware – and then, ultimately, to the owner of that hardware. If you write software for traditional computers, it’s the hardware owners who are in control. If Facebook writes some code and says any developer can come along and have access to a certain API, Facebook management can just change its mind and revoke access later. Because Facebook controls the hardware that the software runs on, it ultimately controls the software. Blockchains are different in the way they’re architected: the software is in charge of the hardware. If you write software for blockchains, you can write code that makes strong commitments; you can assure users and developers that the software will continue to run as designed. Specifically, blockchains use what’s called a consensus mechanism to make these commitments. The various hardware operators that run the network come together every so often and vote on the state of the blockchain virtual computer. There’s game theory around it that guarantees – that makes assurances under most conditions – that the software will continue to run as designed and that the integrity of the data will be maintained.”

FT: “In his new book, , “Liberalism and Its Discontents,” Francis Fukuyama argues that liberalism is threatened not by a rival ideology, but by “absolutized” versions of its own principles. On the right, the promoters of neoliberal economics have turned the ideal of individual autonomy and the free market into a religion, warping the economy and leading to dangerous systemic instability. And on the left, he argues, progressives have abandoned individual autonomy and free speech in favor of claims of group rights that threaten national cohesion. “The answer to these discontents,” he writes, “isn’t to abandon liberalism, but to moderate it.”…[The book is] a short, staunch defense of classical liberal values against what he sees as threats from both the identitarian left and — far more dangerously — the populist, nationalist right.” More from NYTimes: “Francis Fukuyama’s new book joins several from recent years in defining liberalism and arguing for its continued relevance.”

Rita McGrath: “As Carlota Perez has observed, bubbles and their aftermaths are a feature of how capitalism works, not a bug. Just as the railroad bubble and bust left both the US and the UK with important railroad infrastructure and the dot com bust left us with the basis for the digital businesses to follow, this bust will leave us with important infrastructure, too. The development of new kinds of software, the invention of big data solutions and many other developments are likely to be part of the foundation of the next chapter. If we are smart about what we do with it, it can well be the beginning of a new “golden age.””

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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