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Episode 80
Featuring Thomas Reardon
Demetri Kofinas speaks with CTRL-labs CEO Thomas Reardon, about his company’s ground-breaking innovations in neural interface design, computational neuroscience, and machine learning that turn science fiction into reality.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with CTRL-labs CEO Thomas Reardon, about his company’s ground-breaking innovations in neural interface design, computational neuroscience, and machine learning that turn science fiction into reality.

 

Thomas Reardon’s career is no less impressive than his most recent endeavor to displace the graphical user interface and revolutionize immersive computing. He is a founding Board Member of the World Wide Web Consortium and famous for having created Internet Explorer at Microsoft, which, at its peak, represented 96% of all web browsers in existence. Over one billion people on earth have used Reardon’s software to access the Web. After leaving Microsoft, Reardon decided to go back to school, receiving his undergraduate degree in Classics from Columbia, gaining fluency in Latin and Greek. He followed that up with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience split between Columbia and Duke.    

 

It’s hard to capture the paradigmatic nature of the innovations stemming from the work being done at CTRL-labs without seeing it for yourself. Anything that I can say is insufficient to capture the awe of watching someone type on a screen without moving his fingers, use her intentions to pick up and finely control objects in three-dimensional space or play a video game while remaining visually motionless. The implications of this technology are perhaps, rivaled only by the practical genius of its implementation. By focusing their attention on translating only the final, neuronal output of our brain’s commands as expressed through electrical impulses sent directly to our muscles, the team at CTRL-labs has managed to create a device that can capture the brain’s intentions non-invasively, through the use of a simple armband that you can wear like an article of clothing, a wristwatch, or a fancy bracelet. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this technology turns yesterday’s future into today’s reality, blowing wide-open the world of immersive computing and expanding our sense of possibility beyond our wildest imagination.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Thomas Reardon is CEO & Co-Founder of CTRL-Labs, a company that builds transformative brain-machine/neural interfaces whose work spans the intersection of computational neuroscience, statistics, machine learning, biophysics, hardware, and human-computer interaction. He was previously CEO and Co-Founder of Avogadro, Inc., acquired by Openwave where he served as CTO, and creator of the Internet Explorer project at Microsoft. He’s a founding Board Member of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), has 7 patents, and was an MIT “Top 35 Young Innovator” in 2004. Dr. Reardon has an undergraduate degree in Classics from Columbia and split his Ph.D. in Neuroscience between Columbia and Duke University. He is one of 18 siblings.

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Technology
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Episode 79
Featuring Shoshana Zuboff
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Shoshana Zuboff, about the rise of “Surveillance Capitalism,” a pernicious new economic logic, which robs us of our experiences, dispossess us of our sanctuaries and makes our lives increasingly unlivable.

In this week's episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri speaks with Shoshana Zuboff, whose career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its individual, organizational, and social consequences, and its relationship to the history and future of capitalism.

 

In 1609, while in search of a rumored, northeast passage to Asia on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, the English explorer and navigator Henry Hudson, landed on what is modern day New York City.

 

Though written accounts exist of Hudson’s encounters with local tribes, native accounts have been handed down to us through oral tradition, often transcribed much later by missionaries and settlers. In 1765, a Moravian missionary who lived for many years among the Delaware and Mohican tribes recorded a native account of the first meeting:

 

“A long time ago, some Indians who had been out fishing, where the sea widens, spied at a great distance something remarkably large swimming or floating on the water. It was agreed among those who were spectators, that as this phenomenon moved towards the land, it would be well to inform all the Indians on the inhabited islands. Chiefs, from scattered tribes who arrived in numbers, concluded the strange appearance to be a large canoe or house, in which the great Supreme Being himself was coming to visit them.“

 

Such descriptions by native peoples of their first encounters with white settlers were common throughout the Americas. The first man to bring news to the great Aztec King Montezuma of Spanish ships described what he saw from the Gulf coast as “towers or small mountains floating on the waves of the sea.” In other accounts, natives looked from the shore and thought the awesome, approaching ships were giant, white seabirds or floating islands. There are even theories that the Arawak - the first tribe to encounter Columbus’ ships off the coast of Hispaniola - could at first, see only their ripples across the horizon. They were unable to picture what was for them, unprecedented. Unimagined. Alien.

 

What all these people had in common was that they were unable to name, let alone recognize a force of creative destruction so vast and boundless that it would make their worlds unrecognizable, their homes uninhabitable, and their lives unlivable. They were unable to see the ships and their crew for what they were – the vessels of conquerors, pillagers, and looters of unsullied lands. Unable to name them, they welcomed them, agents of their own annihilation.

 

This week, on Hidden Forces, we explore the unprecedented force of surveillance capitalism – how it threatens to dispossess us of our experiences, our sanctuaries, and our very lives.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Shoshana Zuboff joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1981. One of the first tenured women at the school, she was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration. In 2014 and 2015 she was a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its individual, organizational, and social consequences, and its relationship to the history and future of capitalism. She also founded and led the executive education program, Odyssey: School for the Second Half of Life.

 

@shoshanazuboff

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Philosophy
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Episode 77
Featuring Cal Newport
Demetri Kofinas speaks with professor of computer science Cal Newport, about Digital Minimalism and the act of “choosing life” in a surveillance economy that is governed by algorithms scientifically engineered for addiction, supervision, and control.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Cal Newport about his latest book, Digital Minimalism and the act of “choosing life” in a hyperconnected world.

 

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” writes, transcendentalist author and essayist Henry David Thoreau, in the first chapter of Walden titled, “Economy.” “But men labor under a mistake...the improvements of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of man's existence.” In an effort to uncover those “essential laws” Thoreau went to the woods: “I wished to live deliberately,” he says, “to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear;”

 

What is often missed in Thoreau’s reflections from his 2-year excursion into the woodlands of Concord, Massachusetts, is the rigor with which he calculated, measured, and weighed those “essential facts of life.” Philosopher Frédéric Gros calls Thoreau’s “New Economics,” a theory that builds on the following axiom, which Thoreau establishes early in Walden: “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” “The striking thing with Thoreau,” Gros argues, “is not the actual content of the argument. After all, sages in earliest Antiquity had already proclaimed their contempt for possessions…what impresses is the form of the argument. For Thoreau’s obsession with calculation runs deep…he says: keep calculating, keep weighing. What exactly do I gain, or lose?”

 

In the century and a half since its publication, Thoreau’s economics – his methodology for apprehending the cost of a thing by weighing and measuring it against the dearness of life’s value – has been supplanted by allegiance to growth at all costs. But unlike the “mass of men” about which Thoreau writes in the mid-19th century, today’s society is burdened by more than just the labor of miscalculation. In today’s hyperconnected, surveillance economy, the mass of humanity has lost autonomy over that calculation, ceding authority to the commands of a new technocracy that governs the behavioral forces of our primitive biology through platforms scientifically engineered for addiction, supervision, and control.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Play
Episode 4
Featuring Gary Edgerton
Episode 4
Featuring Gary Edgerton
Play
Special Episode
Featuring Demetri Kofinas
Special Episode
Featuring Demetri Kofinas

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He started blogging at calnewport.com in 2007 while a graduate student at MIT and has authored six books, including Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You. In recent years, he’s been primarily writing about the intersection of technology and society. He is particularly interested in the impact of new technologies on our ability to perform productive work, as well as on our ability to lead interesting and satisfying lives.

 

You won't find him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but you can often find him at home with his family in Washington, DC, or writing essays for his popular website calnewport.com.

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

History
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Episode 66
Featuring Brian McCullough
Brian McCullough joins us for a conversation on, the history of the World Wide Web. The conversation spans the earliest days of the web beginning with the browser and Netscape’s historic IPO that kicked off the greatest stock market mania since 1929. Additional topics include Google, Amazon, Napster, Microsoft, and more.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with serial technology entrepreneur and host of the Internet History Podcast, as well as the Techmeme Ride Home, Brian McCullough. Brian is also the author of HOW THE INTERNET HAPPENED, published by Liveright, a subsidiary of W.W. Norton. In 2014 he was the co-founder of a startup human named Penelope, and in 2016 he launched Maxwell into beta.

 

In March of 1989, CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to develop a distributed information system for the laboratory. “Vague, but exciting,” was the comment that his supervisor, Mike Sendall, wrote on the cover, and with those words, gave the green light to what would become the information revolution.

 

Before the end of 1990, Berners-Lee would define the Web’s basic concepts: the URL, http, and html, writing the first browser and server software. For the next two years the web would remain largely inaccessible to all but the most niche academics and hypertext enthusiasts. “…there was a definite element of not wanting to make it easier, of actually wanting to keep the riff raff out," recalled Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape. His own big idea in the winter of 1992 was the let the riff-raff in.

 

That opening came in the form of the Mosaic browser, which brought with it two key implementations: the support for images, and, more importantly, compatibility with Microsoft Windows, which at the time accounted for more than 80 percent of the world’s operating systems. Shortly after Mosaic launched in January of 1993, the number of websites in existence could be measured in the hundreds. By the end of 1994, that number had surpassed tens of thousands, and Mosaic was adding as many as 600,000 new users every month. Berners-Lee may have been responsible for creating the web, but it was Marc Andreessen and his team of misfits and geeks at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and soda cans, that took the web mainstream.

 

Andreessen and his team eventually left Mosaic behind to found Netscape, taking it public in August of 1995, kicking off a 5 year mania of creative energy and enthusiasm that would see the creation of the first search engines, e-commerce platforms, and weblogs. More than seventeen million new websites were created before the end of the 20th century.

 

In five short years, the Internet craze kicked off by the commercialization of the browser culminated in the bursting of the most spectacular stock market bubble seen since 1929. That story – one predicated on a revolutionary technology and enabled by the dreams, ambitions, and avarice of a generation unrestrained by the prudence of their parents and untouched by the failures of the past – is a history that, until this day, has remained largely untold.

 

This week, on Hidden Forces, Brian McCullough joins us for a conversation on, search engines, e-commerce, web portals, social networks, and the history of the information revolution.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Episode 4
Featuring Gary Edgerton
Episode 4
Featuring Gary Edgerton

Brian McCullough has been in the Internet game since 1998. He was the founder or co-founder of the following companies: WhereAreTheJobs.com, WhoToTalkTo.com, and ResumeWriters.com. Host of the Internet History Podcast and Techmeme Ride Home, he was named to a 2016 TED Residency. He is the author of HOW THE INTERNET HAPPENED, published by Liveright, a subsidiary of W.W. Norton. He is an Arsenal fan; Gator fan; England fan. In that order. In 2014 he was the co-founder of a startup human named Penelope, and in 2016 he launched Maxwell into beta.

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How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone | Brian McCullough
Algorithms
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Algorithms
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Episode 64
Featuring Hannah Fry
Mathematician and public educator, Hannah Fry, joins Demetri for a discussion about our often-uncomfortable partnership with machines. It is a conversation meant not only to help further our understanding of how algorithms function, but also to give us a deeper appreciation for where we fit in this increasingly changing world.

This week on Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with mathematician and public educator, Hannah Fry. Dr. Fry’s mathematical expertise has led to the development of several documentaries on the BBC, where she also hosts her own, long-running Radio 4 program: The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. Already a two-time author, Hannah is out with her third and latest book, Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms.   

 

Since the turn of the twentieth century, algorithms have assumed the power previously associated with pontiffs or the divine right of kings. In an instance of late 20th century lore, the great Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, reflecting upon his historic loss to IBM’s Deep Blue described the algorithm that defeated him in less than twenty moves, as having ‘suddenly played like a God for one moment’. Kasparov’s experience – that of having been unnerved by the intelligence and obstinate posture of an otherwise lifeless machine – has not remained confined to the narrow dimensions of his chess board. In the 20 years since his loss, increasingly intelligent algorithms seem to be overtaking our world and making humanity obsolete in the process.

 

But in the age of the algorithm, there are those like Hannah Fry, who believe that our place has never been more important. She believes that we should stop seeing machines as objective masters. Instead, we need to start treating algorithms as we would any other source of power; questioning their decisions, scrutinizing their motives, and holding them accountable for their mistakes.

 

As computer algorithms increasingly control and decide our future, ‘Hello World’ is a reminder of a moment of dialogue between human and machine. Of an instant where the boundary between controller and controlled is virtually imperceptible. It marks the start of a partnership – a shared journey of possibilities, where one cannot exist without the other. In the age of the algorithm, that’s a sentiment worth bearing in mind.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Dr Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL. She works alongside a unique mix of physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, architects and geographers to study the patterns in human behaviour - particularly in an urban setting. Her research applies to a wide range of social problems and questions, from shopping and transport to urban crime, riots and terrorism.

 

Alongside her academic position, Hannah is an experienced public speaker giving conference keynotes and taking the joy of maths into theatres and schools. Hannah’s mathematical expertise has led to the development of several BBC documentaries including City in the Sky (BBC2), Britain's Greatest Inventions (BBC2), Climate Change By Numbers (BBC4), Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing (BBC4), Horizon: How to Find Love Online (BBC2) and The Joy of Data (BBC4). Hannah regularly appears on radio in the UK including on her long running BBC Radio 4 show The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry.

 

Hannah has published popular maths books The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation (Simon & Schuster/ Ted) and The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus (Penguin Random House/Transworld). Her third title, Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms (Penguin Random House/Transworld UK; W. W. Norton & Company US), is on sale now wherever books are sold.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Hannah Fry | Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms
Cyberattacks
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Cyberattacks
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Episode 60
Featuring Bruce Schneier
The public remains largely oblivious to the threat posed by cyberattacks. This is, in part, because cybercrime on the Internet has thus far been measured in terms of dollars and cents. Soon, we will be measuring the cost of these cyberattacks in terms of flesh and blood.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bruce Schneier, about cyberattacks, cyberwar, and survival in a hyperconnected world.

 

Cyberattacks constitute one of the most urgent threats facing collective humanity according to Bruce Schneier. History has proven him right. In the summer of 2017, a weapon of cyberwar was dropped onto a world without borders, where the heavy artillery and nuclear warheads that defined the battlelines of the 20th century have been rendered useless. The attack, known as NotPetya, is estimated to have cost its victims ten billion dollars in damages. This is a fraction of the six-hundred billion dollars that the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates to be the annual cost of cybercrime, constituting nearly 1% of global GDP.

 

Cyberattacks cost the world a fortune, but these costs are remain manageable. Still, they they pass largely unnoticed. The public, lacking context, remains blind to the gathering threat, unable to appreciate the gravity of a cyber 9/11. Until now, cybercrime and cyberterrorism on the Internet has been measured in terms of dollars and cents. Soon, we will be measuring the cost of these cyberattacks in terms of flesh and blood.

 

The 20th century has seen its share of industrial innovation and forward progress, but for the most part, these changes have been discrete. Things have gotten bigger, faster, and cheaper. Still, no one ever expected a train to become a toaster or a pacemaker to magically transform itself into an aisle of books. The composition of an object – its component parts – did not exist independently of its use case. A key used to open a locker couldn’t be repurposed to start a car, nor could a refrigerator open the door to a power plant or to the halls of congress.  

 

In today’s world, where everything is a computer, everything is vulnerable. When those things are connected to the Internet, everyone is exposed. Cyberattacks are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that we are defenseless.

 

This week, on Hidden Forces, Bruce Schneier describes the dangers posed by cyberattacks and how we can learn to survive in spite of them.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Play
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Bruce Schneier is "one of the world’s foremost security experts" (Wired), a "security guru" (Economist) and the best-selling author of thirteen books, including Click Here to Kill Everybody. He has testified before Congress, speaks and writes regularly for major media venues, and his newsletter "Crypto-Gram" and his blog "Schneier on Security" reach more than 250,000 people worldwide. He is a fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society; a special advisor to IBM Security; and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, and the Tor Project.

 

@schneierblog

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Bruce Schneier | Cyberattacks and Survival in a Hyperconnected World
Ethereum
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Episode 57
Featuring Joseph Lubin
Scalability challenges have plagued the ethereum network since its creation. As a co-founder of ethereum, as well the founder of the ecosystem’s largest development incubator, no one has made a bigger bet on the future of blockchain technology than Joseph Lubin has. He joins us to discuss the challenges and opportunties for Cosensys.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joseph Lubin about the progress being made at Consensys and precisely how Joe believes that Ethereum will overcome the scalability challenges that have plagued its network since the earliest days of its founding.

 

For the last few years, many blockchain enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the release of what many have referred to as “the Netflix moment.” In other words, blockchain enthusiasts expect to see a killer application running atop Ethereum, or some other distributed ledger, that will be adopted by the mass consumer. One of the criticisms of this view is that comparisons between the mid-to-late 1990’s and the current era in blockchain technology are overblown. It took twenty years of Internet protocol development and tweaking before Tim Berners-Lee gave us the World Wide Web in 1989. It wasn’t until 1998 that Netflix released its online, DVD rental store. When asked about the comparison between 90’s Internet and today's blockchain technology, Joseph Lubin makes the point that there isn’t going to be one moment when the scalability problems are “solved.” According to Joe, the process of scaling a complex, permissionless database is "always ongoing." To his point, ConsenSys alone employs close to 40 engineers who are working just on the Ethereum base layer protocols, clients, and enterprise scaling solutions. The company is closely aligned with a variety of efforts currently being undertaken to scale the ethereum network, including sharding, proof-of-stake, Casper CBC, Casper FFG, and a number of layer two solutions including state channels and plasma. Demetri has already devoted an entire episode to exploring some of these layer one solutions in great detail with Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir. That said, Joseph Lubin offers an additionally interesting perspective on some of the layer two protocols, which he thinks can solve many of ethereum’s throughput limitations without requiring applications to reconcile directly on the main chain for every transaction. Demetri and Joe spend a good deal of time exploring the challenges of building layer two solutions in more depth, including the counterparty risk problem created from the use of state channels.

 

Additional topics include SEC regulations, artificial intelligence, and questions about specific applications in the areas of news, music, and team organization. Demetri asks Joseph Lubin about Ujo Music, Civil, OpenLaw, as well as something called TMNT or “Traditional Management Nullification Tools,” which enables a different organizational approach to team and systems management that more closely resembles an organism than a corporation.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of blockchain computing platform Ethereum and the founder of Consensus Systems, a blockchain venture studio. Lubin graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1987 – 1992). He worked in the Princeton Robotics Lab, at tomandandy music developing an autonomous music composition tool, and at private research firm Vision Applications Inc. building autonomous mobile robots. As a software engineer and consultant, Joseph Lubin worked with eMagine on the Identrus project and was involved in the founding and operation of a hedge fund with a partner. He held positions as Director of the New York office of Blacksmith Software Consulting, and VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. Through these posts, Lubin focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance. Switching gears, Lubin moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on projects in the music industry. Two years into his musical endeavors, Joseph Lubin co-founded the Ethereum Project and has been working on Ethereum and ConsenSys since January 2014.

 

Twitter @ethereumJoseph

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Hashgraph
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Hashgraph
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Episode 56
Featuring Tom Trowbridge
Hashgraph made its public debut less than one year ago. It has since raised over $100mln on its way towards the release of its public ledger. In this conversation, President Tom Trowbridge, shares stories about the team’s challenges, its successes, and how he thinks the future will shake out for competing protocols.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Hedera Hashgraph President Tom Trowbridge about the latest news from the company that made its splash on the Hidden Forces podcast less than one year ago.

 

In the Fall of 2008, equity markets were in free fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite were all on their way towards lows not seen since the mid-1990’s. Stock valuations would collapse by more than fifty percent, prominent investment banks filed for bankruptcy while others fled into the rapacious arms of their competitors or under the safe umbrella of Congress and the Federal Reserve.

 

At the same time as Schumpeter’s ghost was rattling his chains on Wall Street, Satoshi's white paper was making the rounds on a cryptography mailing list in some obscure corner of the Internet. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” he wrote, directing the several hundred recipients to his paper, "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” “Merchants must be wary of their customers,” he writes, “a certain percentage of fraud is accepted as unavoidable. These costs and payment uncertainties can be avoided in person by using physical currency, but no mechanism exists to make payments over a communications channel without a trusted party.” This last bit was only partly true. It was Satoshi’s paper, after all, that made it untrue. Though few realized it at the time, the Bitcoin whitepaper marked the beginning of the Internet’s second act. In the ten years since its publication, we have seen an explosion of interest, development, and investment in protocols built from Satoshi’s underlying blockchain technology, designed to execute commands across a distributed, trustless network of computers. Ethereum led the way with its pioneering Virtual Machine, able to execute smart contracts across a permissionless network, and since, several competing ledgers have cropped up, each claiming some advancement over prior versions.

 

But what if, in their bid to create a faster horse, developers and investors alike have missed a crucial turning point in the evolution of the Internet? Satoshi’s white paper, brilliant as it was, never claimed to be the blueprint for a world computer. As the bitcoin network has grown, so too have the costs of its transactions, and this is because adding blocks takes time. Deciding what chain to build on requires the network to agree on which chain is the longest, and when chains are growing too fast, it’s hard to tell the difference. In the last several years we’ve seen an explosion of brainpower devoted towards creating workarounds to the scalability problem, but we’ve also seen a quiet, committed effort at building alternatives that aren’t saddled with blockchain’s limitations.

 

Perhaps the most interesting of these alternatives is hashgraph, built as a directed acyclic graph, it’s fundamental innovation is not in its architecture, but in its consensus. Even to those who see promise in hashgraph, the technology can often seem like magic. One might describe its consensus protocol as nothing more than a compression algorithm for the casting of votes. What would have once taken an impossible amount of time, can now be accomplished in a matter of seconds. A voting algorithm for a global network. It was Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, who stated it most clearly: “The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another.”

 

In its first iteration, the Internet solved the problem of communication across a network without the need for a trusted third party, but making definitive statements about that communication has always required an intermediary. In order to harness the full power of the Internet, we need to do for data processing, computation, and storage what the existing suite of Internet protocols have already done for communication. A revolution for a new generation. The Internet’s second act.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Tom Trowbridge is the President of Hedera Hashgraph. Prior to joining, he started and ran the New York office for UK-based Odey Asset Management. Before Odey, he held various positions at Lombard Odier, Atticus Capital, and Goldman Sachs. He began his career in 1996 as an investment banker in the telecom group at Bear, Stearns & Co., and subsequently spent three and a half years at the private equity firm Alta Communications, where he executed ten deals in technology, telecom, and media and served on two boards. Tom has a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University, where he was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

 

@hashgraph

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Cryptocurrency
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Episode 55
Featuring Ryan Selkis
Information has become, quite literally, the currency of the digital age. In a world of informational abundance, the quality of that information increasingly determines the types of decisions we make. Ryan Selkis joins us to explain how his company, Messari, is helping us locate the signal in the noise of a new financial system.

Information has become, quite literally, the currency of the digital age. Yet, even before the advent of cryptocurrencies, investors have always understood information to be a valuable asset. “The most valuable commodity I know of is information,” said the iconic Wall Street villain Gordon Gekko. However, information is a commodity, only in so far as it derives its value from the computational efforts of those who seek to process it. In a world of informational abundance, the quality of our computations, not their quantity, determine the scale of our harvest.

 

Ryan Selkis believes that harvesting, processing, and storing data about the crypto economy can be done better. His team at Messari is building an open data library, as well as a set of curation tools that will help researchers, investors, and regulators make sense of the industry. Ryan has stated outright that the “Bloomberg of crypto will be a network, not a centralized company.” This is where his work on token-curated registries factors in.

 

“Token-curated registries are decentrally-curated lists with intrinsic economic incentives for token holders to curate the list’s contents judiciously,” wrote Mike Goldin, in a 2017 article titled “Token-Curated Registries 1.0.” You could say that if Wikipedia and Bitcoin had a baby, the child would be a TCR. Such databases could theoretically replace all commercially curated, owned, and operated, libraries on earth, by offering a new set of economic incentives that harness the networks and expertise of the planet’s seven-and-a-half billion people.

 

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Ryan Selkis joins Demetri Kofinas for a conversation about information, cryptocurrency, and how Messari is working to build the database for a new financial system.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Ryan Selkis is co-founder and CEO of Messari, an open, trusted source of cryptoasset data. Prior to founding Messari, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at ConsenSys, and was on the founding teams of Digital Currency Group, where he managed the firm’s seed investing activity, and CoinDesk, where he led the company’s restructuring and annual Consensus conferences. He has been an investor and prolific writer in the crypto industry since 2013.

 

Messari is building an open-source data library for the cryptoasset community. The library contains financial information, issuer disclosures, and blockchain analytics for thousands of tokens, as well as general information regarding the teams, advisors, and investors affiliated with a given project. Messari is also creating a “whitelist” of cryptoasset projects that abide by community-dictated transparency standards, via its token curated registry. The company also runs one of the industry's most popular newsfeeds and email newsletters.

 

Twitter @twobitidiot

Medium @twobitidiot

 

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Business
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Episode 53
Featuring Gillian Tett
Gillian Tett shares stories about her experience at the Financial Times and explains how her background in anthropology has helped her identify financial bubbles in technology and the economy. Topics include corporate debt, unicorns, ETFs, EMEs, volatility, dollar carry-trade, protectionism, interest rates, populism, and geopolitics.

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said the famous Yankee captain, Yogi Berra, and yet, this hasn’t stopped us from trying. Attempting to predict the future is a sport as old as civilization itself. Oracles and wishing wells litter the landscape of humanity’s past. Yet, in a world whose outcomes are no longer determined by the forces of nature, ordaining the future has become a matter of market introspection. Learning how to cultivate a sense of objectivity, empathy, and cultural awareness can be the difference between staying ahead of the curve or falling far behind it.

 

Gillian Tett has managed well by this measure. The Managing Editor of the Financial Times US is trained as a cultural anthropologist who applies her knowledge of human cultural practices, values, and norms towards trying to identify key trends in finance and the economy. In this almost hour-long conversation with Demetri Kofinas, Gillian shares stories about her experience covering financial markets, as well as how her background as a cultural anthropologist has helped her to spot financial bubbles in technology and the economy.

 

Prior to the crisis, Gillian Tett and her team of capital markets reporters were some of the only financial journalists to cover the arcane world of credit derivatives. Since 2008, she has been one of the most important journalistic voices in all of economics and finance, moderating panels and conducting interviews at the most prestigious conferences and private gatherings around the world.

 

Our conversation begins in Tajikistan, where Gillian studied local wedding rituals as part of her doctorate in cultural anthropology. She would later draw a useful comparison between Tajik wedding rituals and what she was seeing in the space of credit derivatives (specifically, the innovations happening at JP Morgan). The conversation quickly shifts to the 2008 financial crisis, and what the now managing editor of the Financial Times learned from her experience covering the panic of ’08-’09. This was a period in which central banks engaged in extraordinary measures aimed at shoring up the global financial system for fear that if they did not, a banking collapse would ensue. Fortunately, the system survived, but not without leaving some lasting scars…

 

The rest of Demetri’s conversation with Gillian Tett is an exploration of the current financial landscape. Where have the risks accumulated post-2008? Much of today’s investment capital has accumulated in technology stocks and in technology-related companies. Private placements have boomed, and pre-IPO valuations have skyrocketed. Unicorns like Uber, Theranos, and a litany of cryptocurrency ICO’s have shot straight to the moon. The growth of wealth and income inequality since 2008 can be seen in these sky-high valuations.

 

Sovereign balance sheets have also exploded as a legacy of the crisis, but little has been discussed about the growth in corporate debt over the last six to eight years. Not only is the amount of corporate debt important, but the form that debt has taken is telling. Hampered by new regulations, as well as the memory of the last crisis, banks have curbed back their lending only to see bond make up the difference, buying up new offerings across the risk curve. Emerging markets have been a big beneficiary, not only of the appetite for high-yield debt but also, of loose monetary policy. The dollar carry-trade has become a powerful funding mechanism for emerging market economies and companies, which are now at risk of a dangerous snap back as the Fed continues to tighten, raising interest rates and shrinking the size of its balance sheet. Volatility remains low, but with prices having made all-time highs across various asset classes, geopolitical tensions between the United States, Russia, and China may prove the straw that breaks the market’s back. Additionally, the developing trade war with China, as well as the protections measures taken against Canada and Europe may finally create the type of consumer price inflation that the Fed has been begging for. You know what they say? Be careful what you wish for…

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Play
Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese
Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese

Gillian Tett serves as US managing editor, leading the FT’s editorial operations in the region across all platforms. She writes weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues throughout the globe.

 

Tett previously served as assistant editor, US managing editor from 2010-2012, and prior to this as the assistant editor responsible for the FT’s markets coverage. Her other roles at the FT have included capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, Tokyo correspondent, London-based economics reporter and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.

 

Tett’s latest book The Silo Effect, published by Simon & Schuster in September 2015, looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology.

 

Most recently in 2016, Tett received honorary degrees from the University of Exeter in July and the University of Miami in May; and in 2015, an honorary doctorate from Lancaster University in the UK, one of the top ten British universities. In 2014, Tett was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, with judges describing her column as “provocative, revealing, often counter-intuitive” and commending her for covering “a gloriously eclectic range of themes”. She also received the 2014 Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award, which recognizes an individual who works outside academia and has used anthropology or anthropological ideas to contribute to a better understanding of the world’s problems. In 2012, she received a Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for best feature article, “Madoff Spins his Story.” Her other awards include a President’s Medal by the British Academy (2011), being recognized as Journalist of the Year (2009) and Business Journalist of the Year (2008) by the British Press Awards, and as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards.

 

She is the author of New York Times bestseller Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe (Little Brown, UK and Simon and Schuster, US) published in May 2009, and Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from its Trillion Dollar Meltdown (Harper Collins,2003). Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the Spear’s Book Awards in 2009.

 

Before joining the Financial Times in 1993, Tett was awarded a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on fieldwork in the former Soviet Union. While pursuing the PhD, she freelanced for the FT and the BBC. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Engineering
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Episode 52
Featuring Simon Winchester
Our world hinges on our ability to have everything made just so. Precision engineering fuels and sustains modern society. Yet, it has also put our lives in peril and caused us to question what it is that we really want. Here, Simon Winchester discusses our quest for perfection and meaning. Can we really have both?

Few things are as responsible for the making of the modern world as precision engineering; yet, it is largely invisible to us. We live our lives in a customizable fashion, expecting the world to conform to our expectations, wants and desires. And yet, below this surface layer of personalization and complexity exists a world of exactness so precise that it evades our capacity to notice it. It is this world of increasing perfection, uniformity, and repetition that Simon Winchester writes so eloquently about. 

 

This conversation is neither a salute to precision or a rebuke of perfection. It is a commentary on both the genius brought to bear by humanity in reshaping the world, as well as an homage to the craftsmanship and personal touch that has given it meaning. 

 

Our endless striving for that which is flawless is most human. Yet, try as we might, we cannot rid the world of all its imperfections. Humanity, after all, is by its very nature hopelessly, beautifully, fatally flawed. "To err is human," said Alexander Pope. Forgiveness is divine. 

 

In chronicling the history of precision engineering, Simon Winchester, has not only found something forgivable in humanity's shortcomings but indeed, something worthy of honor and celebration.

 

In his book, “The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World” Winchester asks whether a wish for perfection is actually essential to modern health and happiness, whether it is “a necessary component of our very being?” He answers with a resounding, “no.”

 

Yet, the problem, as Winchester articulates it, is not simply an existential one. It is a technical one as well.

 

For proof, we’ve only to look to our jet engines, where microscopic errors can quickly cause cascading problems that lead to catastrophic loss of life. In fact, this is exactly what happened in 1989 on a United Airlines flight, when a microscopic metallurgical defect in the titanium disk caused the engine to fail. 112 people died as a result. Unfortunately, such tales aren’t relegated to the annals of history. Many similar events have occurred in the decades since. If the past is any guide, then as our technologies continue to multiply (we made 13 trillion transistors each second of 2015) and shrink in size, we can expect the threats associated with them to become larger and more pronounced. 

 

In today’s episode, Simon Winchester joins host Demetri Kofinas for a conversation that is equally a discussion of the significance of exponential technologies, an investigation into the kind of world we want to build, and an exploration of what it means to have a life well lived.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

 

Simon Winchester is a British-American author and journalist. In his career at The Guardian newspaper, Winchester covered numerous significant events, including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. He is the acclaimed author of many New York Times bestsellers, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, Atlantic, Pacific, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, as well as his latest book, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

 

In 2006 Mr. Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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Ethereum
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Episode 49
Featuring Vitalik Buterin & Vlad Zamfir
In 2013, Vitalik Buterin described an ambitious technology that offered a new vision of the future — one that would give us new ways of governing interactions among nations, organizations, and individuals. But challenges remain on the path towards widespread adoption. Here, Buterin and Vlad Zamfir discuss the future roadmap for Ethereum.

If contracts are the foundation of modern civilization, then our record systems are the infrastructure that keep this foundation from falling apart. These features allow our society to establish and verify identities; give value to goods and services; create and enforce laws; govern interactions between individuals, organizations, and nations — in short, they secure our social, economic, and political policies and allow us to maintain the social order.

 

But there is a problem with these systems, and they are beginning to buckle and crack.

 

The information age vastly accelerated the pace of society, allowing individuals to dramatically expand their circles of influence. People can now exchange goods and services (or even enter into contracts) with strangers on the other side of the globe instantaneously. Government agencies and international organizations can maximize processes by storing and retrieving information online. However, these processes are fraught with challenges.

 

Without the presence of intermediaries, digital transactions have thus far been impossible to verify or enforce. Mediators and middlemen provide accountability on the one hand, in return for higher centralization on the other. This centralization creates opportunities for companies like Facebook and Google to make billions of dollars mining and selling our data. It also presents lucrative opportunities for malicious actors looking to capitalize on our insecure digital infrastructure. The digital records kept by banks and government institutions are frequently the subject of cyber attacks, putting this same data at risk.

 

As the first decentralized digital currency, bitcoin promised to solve some of these issues; however, bitcoin's use cases have remained limited to a very narrow set of financial transactions. In response, Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum. In his 2012 white paper,  Vitalik outlined an ambitious vision of the future — one that would endeavor to solve the problems associated with our contracts, transactions, and records by creating a new, decentralized layer for data processing and computation on which society could run.

 

Whereas Bitcoin’s aim was to erect a platform for unmediated digital payments, the goal of Ethereum’s blockchain-based architecture is to entirely dismantle traditional power structures and methods of control. It attempts this by allowing decentralization to saturate all levels of society through the use of an open, distributed ledger that records transactions between parties in a more trusted way way.

 

In Ethereum blockchain, contracts are embedded within digital code, which are stored in transparent, shared databases. In theory, it makes intermediaries like bankers and lawyers unnecessary and allows individuals to transact freely. Ethereum increase access, transparency, and accountability, without relying on third-parties to secure the ledger.

 

Ethereum blockchain has opened the door to a new type of economy, yet challenges remain — specifically, challenges to scale.

 

The most prominent of these scaling challenges has been transaction throughput. Currently, the Ethereum network can process no more than fifteen transactions per second (TPS). This is major barrier to widespread adoption and it has prevented the blockchain from being able to support the type of network traffic that would result from the popular use of any decentralized application (dApp). In response, Vitalik, Vlad, and other key members of the Ethereum have put forward a roadmap for scaling the Ethereum network.

 

From sharding to Plasma to Casper, in this week’s episode, host Demetri Kofinas is joined by Vlad Zamfir, one of is the world’s leading Ethereum researchers, and Vitalik Buterin to discuss the future of Ethereum, the problems it faces on the path to widespread adoption, and the solutions that promise to carry us into a decentralized digital age.  

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Vitalik Buterin is the creator of Ethereum. He first discovered blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies through Bitcoin in 2011, and was immediately excited by the technology and its potential. He cofounded Bitcoin Magazine in September 2011, and after two and a half years looking at what the existing blockchain technology and applications had to offer, wrote the Ethereum white paper in November 2013. He now leads Ethereum's research team, working on future versions of the Ethereum protocol.

 

Vlad Zamfir is a researcher known in the Ethereum blockchain community for his work on blockchain-based consensus protocols, especially on proof-of-stake (Casper), and sharding. He also does research and education in other related areas, such as cryptoeconomics and blockchain governance.

 

@VitalikButerin

@VladZamfir

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Technology
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Episode 47
Featuring Jimmy Soni
The digitization of information transformed the foundation of our society, thrusting us into an era, and economy, dominated by information technology. This information age was created by one man: Claude Shannon. Here, we dive into Shannon’s work, the most important thesis of the 20th century, a mathematical theory of communication.

The 20th century is known as the information age, and for a good reason. It is a period that is dominated by knowledge and data. It’s an era in which the economy is no longer driven by traditional industries — such as construction, manufacturing, or agriculture — but by advanced information technologies that store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data.

 

This revolution finds its roots in Information Theory. And remarkably, it is a theory that was developed by one man: Claude Shannon.
 

Before Shannon, society had a rather immature understanding of what information was. Information was understood as something immaterial and intangible. It was not seen as something that could be touched or manipulated. It was assumed that the only way to send information (intelligence, as it was then refered to) across a greater distance was to “boost” the signal by using more power. This was a notoriously imperfect system, as it increased the amount of “noise” that was received and made the message more difficult to discern.
 

In his foundational work, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, Shannon solved this issue and presented a completely new way of understanding information. He showed that information isn’t insubstantial, but something that we can measure and manipulate — something that has physical characteristics and can be quantified. Shannon also created a diagram which showed that all information has certain, set components — such as a source, a transmitter, a recipient, and so on. As such, not only did he show that information is something that can be made material, through his work, Shannon proved that all information (be it a radio signal, a photo, or a song) can be governed through a set of common laws.

 

In short, he turned information into something that can be computed and reliably transmitted, laying the foundation for the digital revolution.

 

In this episode, Jimmy Soni, author of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, joins Demetri Kofinas to discuss how Shannon was able to develop a new way of automating thought, one that would prove to be far more powerful than the analog machine.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Jimmy is a New York based author, editor, and speechwriter. He's the co-author of Rome's Last Citizen, a biography of the ancient Roman Senator Cato, and A Mind at Play, a biography of the late mathematician Claude Shannon. The latter book won the Neumann Prize for the top book in the history of mathematics for 2017 and was named

one of the best books of the year by Nature and Bloomberg. Jimmy has also served as an editor at the Huffington Post, the New York Observer, and the Washington Examiner. He's also the absurdly proud father of a nearly three-year-old daughter.

 

@jimmyasoni

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Crypto
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Episode 34
Featuring Brian Kelly
Demetri Kofinas speaks with author, investor, and contributor to CNBC's Fast Money Brian Kelly about the problem of scalability, exchange & regulatory risk, cash-settled futures & ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare compared to gold during a financial crisis. They also contemplate the impact of systemic trading on market downturns.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM LLC, a digital asset investment firm. He is an experienced Global Macro investor with over twenty-five years’ experience in financial markets and a CNBC contributor who appears regularly on Fast Money.

 

Our most recent episodes with Chris Burniske on modeling cryptoassets and with Ari Paul on cryptocurrency trading methodologies introduced two foundational frameworks to our audience. This week's episode with Brian Kelly affords our audience the opportunity to explore both of these perspectives (theory and execution) in a single conversation. Brian Kelly is uniquely qualified to talk about the financial side of cryptocurrencies, but he also provides valuable perspective on how the media is covering this space.

 

Brian begins his conversation with Demetri by recounting his introductory experience to bitcoin, how he made his first investments, and what he learned in the year he wrote his book “The Bitcoin Big Bang.” The two explore familiar topics like the problem of scalability, exchange and regulatory risk, cash-settled futures and ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare to gold during a systemic financial crisis. Is there any way to measure the intrinsic value of a given cryptocurrency? Can permissioned blockchains compete with public ledgers, or will cryptocurrencies come to dominate the future of software? Besides bitcoin and Ethereum, what are some of the more interesting cryptocurrency investment opportunities out there? Brian and Demetri also cover the recent spike in financial volatility amid this rising interest rate environment. Lastly, they consider how the rise of systemic trading strategies and passive investment vehicles like ETFs may accelerate (or not) a future market downturn.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Brian Kelly is Founder and CEO of BKCM LLC, an investment firm focused on digital currencies. He is the portfolio manager of the BKCM Digital Asset Fund. Brian is the author of "The Bitcoin Big Bang – How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World."

 

Prior to BKCM LLC, Brian was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Shelter Harbor Capital LLC and managed the Shelter Harbor Capital Global Macro Hedge Fund. As well, Mr. Kelly was a co-founder and President of MKM Partners, a brokerage firm catering to institutional investment managers.

 

Brian provides money management services to a select clientele and consults on digital currencies.

Brian is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he received a B.S. in finance. He also holds an M.B.A. from Babson Graduate School of Business with a concentration in finance and econometrics.

 

@BKBrianKelly

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Technology
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Episode 30
Featuring Tim O’Reilly
If we want to better navigate the world, and if we want to accurately anticipate and predict the future, we must start by building better maps of the present. Tim O'Reilly explains how creating a map of today can help us determine what tomorrow holds.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas asks the question, "how can we learn how to predict the future?" According to his guest, Tim O'Reilly, learning how to predict the future starts with building better maps. 

 

Tim O'Reilly has played a seminal role in creating the framework through which an entire generation has come to know and understand the modern Internet. If you have ever used terms like “open source” or “web 2.0,” you are relying on the language cultivated by Tim O'Reilly, through his innumerable conferences, gatherings, and intimate conversations. His work has reshaped how people in the computer industry think about technology. He is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of O’Reilly Media, and his most recent book, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us, forms the basis for much of this conversation. 

 

The need to explore is a fundamental driver of human progress. Without it, we would never have ventured off the plains of Africa, conquered the seas, or landed men on the moon. How has humanity managed to navigate the unknown? The process of exploration is one of mapmaking. Maps are not some relics of a bygone era. Maps are not artifacts that exist naturally in the world. Maps are products of the human mind. Mapmaking is the process through which our brains structure time and space; they help us put order around experience. Maps are the expression of human perception. If we want to navigate the world better, and if we want to learn how to predict the future, then we need to build better maps. Tim O'Reilly helps us do just that.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. His original business plan was simply “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. O’Reilly Media delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.

Tim has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. In 1998, he organized the meeting where the term “open source software” was agreed on, and helped the business world understand its importance. In 2004, with the Web 2.0 Summit, he defined how “Web 2.0” represented not only the resurgence of the web after the dot com bust, but a new model for the computer industry, based on big data, collective intelligence, and the internet as a platform. In 2009, with his “Gov 2.0 Summit,” he framed a conversation about the modernization of government technology that has shaped policy and spawned initiatives at the Federal, State, and local level, and around the world. He has now turned his attention to implications of AI, the on-demand economy, and other technologies that are transforming the nature of work and the future shape of the business world. This is the subject of his new book from Harper Business, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.

In addition to his role at O’Reilly Media, Tim is a partner at early stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) and on the boards of Maker Media (which was spun out from O’Reilly Media in 2012), Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox.

 

@TimOreilly

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Futurism
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Episode 28
Featuring Demetri Kofinas
Demetri Kofinas lays out his vision for a possible future driven by the emergent forces we have been covering in 2017. What is the goal of the machine? What do we seek to accomplish with our technologies? What are the benefits and the costs associated with the technological, political, and economic forces of the modern age?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas lays out his vision for a future driven by the emergent forces we have been covering in 2017. He reads passages from Ted Kaczynski’s “Industrial Society and its Future,” as well as from Bill Joy’s “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.” He plays clips from interviews with Barack Obama, Tim Cook, and Jamie Dimon, as he considers how power, privacy, and control, all factor into the emerging technological landscape. What is the goal of the machine? What do we seek to accomplish with our technologies? What are the benefits and the costs associated with the technological, political, and economic forces of the modern age? 

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

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Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
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Technology
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Technology
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Techno Forces
Featuring David Kirkpatrick
How do we protect our privacy and freedom in a networked world controlled by a handful of tech giants? How will advances in AR, VR, and brain-machine interfaces change humanity? How do we improve our cities and infrastructure with technology in mind? How do we prepare for a future where most of today's jobs will be done by machines?

In this Techno Forces segment of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with journalist and technology commentator David Kirkpatrick. David is the author of The Facebook Effect and the founder of Techonomy Media, which seeks to promote conversations at the highest levels of the enterprise, academia, and government about the role of technology in social progress.

 

This conversation spans the evolving landscape of our technological society. How do we protect our privacy and freedom in a networked world controlled by a handful of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon? How do we protect our autonomy and agency in a future intermediated by augmented reality, virtual reality, and brain-machine interfaces? How do we prepare for a future where most, if not all, of today’s jobs, will be done by machines? How do we improve our cities and infrastructure with technology in mind? Can we innovate our way out of climate change, famine, and war? Are there limits to what technology can solve?

 

In addition to overseeing the operations of Techonomy Media, David Kirkpatrick is a contributor to Vanity Fair and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

David Kirkpatrick is a journalist, author, and founder of Techonomy Media. Its conferences gather leaders to discuss how tech changes everything. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg made there his notorious remarks about fake news. The recent Techonomy NYC included Chris Hughes, Martin Sorrell, Brad Smith, and Jeffrey Sachs. Kirkpatrick’s book “The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World” is in 32 languages. He recently wrote an extensive article about what went wrong at Facebook for Time Magazine entitled The Facebook Defect. He spent 25 years at Fortune Magazine, and is a contributing editor at Bloomberg Television and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

@DavidKirkpatric

 

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Law
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Episode 24
Featuring Jeffrey Rosen
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jeffrey Rosen, the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator about constitutional law in the 21st century. How do we interpret a more than 200-year-old document in an age of empire, terror, and technological futurism? Can it safeguard our liberty, autonomy, and freedom, in the digital age?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jeffrey Rosen, the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator. Their conversation examines the landscape of constitutional law in the 21st century. How do we interpret a more than 200-year-old document in an age of empire, terror, and technological futurism? How do theories of mind apply to the laws of personhood? How will our criminal justice system evolve along with our notions of agency and free-will? How do we interpret the First Amendment in an age of synthetic news and artificial intelligence? Where do the Bill of Rights and the Constitution stand on the question of genetic engineering and designer babies? Can the Fourth and Fifth Amendments protect our right to privacy and freedom from self-incrimination in an age of mass surveillance? How does constitutional law inform the practices of corporations and publishers? Can this enduring document safeguard our liberty, autonomy, and freedom, in the digital age?

 

In addition to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen is also a professor at The George Washington University Law School, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a contributing editor for the Atlantic. He is a highly regarded journalist whose essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, on National Public Radio, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and legal historian David Garrow has called him “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.” He received the 2012 Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute for his “extraordinary contribution to the cause of better legal writing.”

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the U.S. Constitution. Located steps from Independence Hall in Historic Philadelphia, the Center engages millions of citizens as an interactive museum, national town hall, and provider of nonpartisan resources for civic education. Rosen became President and CEO in 2013 and has developed the Center’s acclaimed Interactive Constitution, which brings together the top conservative and liberal legal scholars in America to discuss areas of agreement and disagreement about every clause of the Constitution. The online resource has received more than 15 million hits since launching in 2015.

Rosen is also professor at The George Washington University Law School and a contributing editor of The Atlantic. He is a highly regarded journalist whose essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, on National Public Radio, in the New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor, and The New Yorker, where he was a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and a reviewer for the Los Angeles Times called him “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.”

 

Rosen is the author of six books including, most recently, a biography of William Howard Taft, published as part of the American Presidents Series. His other books include Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet; The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America. He is co-editor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.

 

Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College; Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and Yale Law School.


@RosenJeffrey

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Crypto
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Crypto
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Special Episode
Featuring Mance Harmon
This is the complete audio from “The Future Is Not Blockchain. It’s Hashgraph” panel hosted by Demetri Kofinas on Thursday, October 19, 2017. In it, members of the hashgraph consensus algorithm’s founding team, including the CEO of Swirlds, Mance Harmon, speak with Demetri Kofinas about the future of the Internet.

This is the complete audio from “The Future Is Not Blockchain. It’s Hashgraph” panel hosted by Demetri Kofinas on Thursday, October 19, 2017. In it, members of the hashgraph consensus algorithm’s founding team, including the CEO of Hedera Hashgraph and Swirlds, Mance Harmon, speak with Demetri Kofinas about the future of the Internet.

 

In this blockbuster event, blockchain developers, entrepreneurs, and fans of Hidden Forces ask questions to the founders of hashgraph about their revolutionary technology. Leemon Baird, Mance Harmon, and the rest of the Swirlds team claim to have built an entirely new distributed ledger technology that is better (orders of magnitude more efficient), faster (250,000+ transactions per second pre-sharding), safer (asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant), and fairer (mathematically proven fairness with consensus time stamping) than the blockchain.

 

This is the second installment in a series of interviews, panel discussions, and conversations that Demetri Kofinas has had with the founders of Hashgraph. Hashgraph is a consensus algorithm that may have solved the problem of scale in distributed information management. It is a distributed ledger technology that may do for information processing and storage, what TCP/IP and broadband have done for communication. This could be a revolution unlike any we have seen since the earliest days of the World Wide Web.

 

This event took place at the Assemblage NOMAD in New York City. It was a packed house with over 200 people in attendance from the blockchain and fintech communities who were eager to learn about how the hashgraph consensus algorithm is going to change the future of the Internet.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

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Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Mance Harmon is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of strategic leadership experience in multi-national corporations, government agencies and high-tech startups, and is Co-founder and CEO of Hedera Hashgraph and Swirlds Inc. Prior experience includes serving as the Head of Architecture and Labs at Ping Identity, Founder / CEO of two tech startups, the senior executive for product security at a $1.7B revenue organization, Program Manager for a very-large scale software program for the Missile Defense Agency, the Course Director for Cybersecurity at US Air Force Academy, and research scientist in Machine Learning at Wright Laboratory. Mance received a MS in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, and a BS in Computer Science from Mississippi State University.

 

@manceharmon

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Crypto
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Episode 22
Featuring Leemon Baird
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Leemon Baird, the creator of Hedera Hashgraph, a public ledger that may have solved the problem of scale in distributed consensus. Its properties of speed, security, and fairness could expand decentralized use cases to complex markets, auctions, crypto-currency micro payments, live games (even MMOs), and more.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Leemon Baird, the inventor of Hashgraph, a new, distributed ledger technology poised to disrupt the entire ecosystem of blockchain-based applications and cryptocurrencies.

 

Leemon Baird is the Co-founder and CTO of Swirlds Inc. With over 20 years of technology and startup experience, he has held positions as a Professor of Computer Science at the Air Force Academy, Adjunct Professor at multiple other prestigious universities, and as a senior scientist in several labs. He has been the co-founder of several startups, including two identity-related starts-ups with successful exits. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University faster than any student in school history (2 years, 9 months), has multiple patents, and over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals on computer security, machine learning, and mathematics. He regularly keynotes on these topics at conferences.

 

In this nearly hour-long conversation, our audience will get a first-hand look at what may become the future of the Internet. Hashgraph is a revolutionary new distributed ledger technology like no other. It is able to scale faster, with greater safety, and more fairly than any of its blockchain competitors. This makes Hashgraph superior to existing blockchain databases in every way — i.e., unlike blockchain, it is fast/high throughput (100,000< transactions per second pre sharding), fair (mathematically proven fairness with consensus time stamping), and secure (asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant). These properties expand decentralized use cases to complex markets, auctions, crypto-currency micro payments, live games (even MMOs), and much more.

 

Swirlds has secured early funding from New Enterprise Associates and already has enterprise adoption. It has been adopted by credit unions, payment providers, and is currently in due diligence phases with large banks. Official footage was just released of decentralized applications built in 24 hours at the TechCrunch Disrupt 24hr Hackathon using the Hashgraph SDK i.e. a decentralized live game, a decentralized eBay / auction market, a decentralized Disaster Relief Platform , and more. These are examples of distributed applications which cannot be made using current blockchain technology.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Leemon Baird is the inventor of the hashgraph distributed consensus algorithm, and is the Co-founder and CTO of Hedera Hashgraph and Swirlds Inc. With over 20 years of technology and startup experience, he has held positions as a Professor of Computer Science at the Air Force Academy and as a senior scientist in several labs. He has been the co-founder of several startups, including two identity-related starts-ups, which were acquired. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and has multiple patents and publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences in computer security, machine learning, and mathematics.

 

@LeemonBaird

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Design Ethics
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Episode 21
Featuring John Borthwick
Demetri Kofinas speaks with John Borthwick about the philosophical challenges of the modern age. How do we develop a design philosophy for machines without losing sight of our humanity? Who are we designing our world for? What do we hope to achieve from this immersive future of superintelligence, disembodied consciousness, and simulation?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with John Borthwick about design philosophy, superintelligence, relativism, and simulation. John Borthwick is CEO and Co-founder of Betaworks, a startup platform that builds and invests in companies across the social, data-driven media Internet. The Betaworks platform combines three areas of expertise. The first is a studio for building products like Giphy, Dots, bitly, and Tweetdeck. The second is an investment fund for early-stage start-ups related to the areas in which the company is building (investments here include: Tumblr, Kickstarter, Medium and Gimlet). Lastly, there is “camp”: a thematic accelerator program for start-ups in frontier technology such as Bots, AI, and Verbal Computing. In this manner, John Borthwick and his team at Betaworks combine art and science in their design philosophy, as they create extraordinary companies and work with exceptional people across the technological landscape.

 

In their conversation, Demetri and John blur the line between man and machine. “Computers are no longer that ‘other’ thing, that ‘other’ object. The line between machines and humans is becoming indistinguishable,” says John Borthwick. The two reconsider our place as observers and users of technology in this increasingly intermediated universe of digital experience. They reimagine consciousness and explore a theory of mind that questions our notions of humanity, our sense of identity, and our assumptions of free will. How do we develop a design philosophy for our machines without losing sight of our humanity? Who are we designing our world for? And, what do we hope to achieve as we dissolve into this immersive technological future of superintelligence, disembodied consciousness, relativism, and simulation?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

John Borthwick has been a leader and early-stage investor in New York technology for over two decades. As founder and CEO of betaworks, he has led the company building and investment process since 2008. Companies built by betaworks include Giphy, Dots, bitly, and Chartbeat. Betaworks most recently opened it’s doors to their newest company, Studios, just this Spring. Combining physical space with software, betaworks Studios is a space for community and connection in the tech industry, where builders, investors, technologists, artists, and Entrepreneurs alike can collaborate, think, and envision humane tech products.

 

Prior to betaworks, John was SVP of Alliances and Technology Strategy for Time Warner Inc.; CEO of Fotolog, one of the first social photo sharing sites; and head of AOL’s product development studio after they acquired his first company, WP Studio, one of Silicon Alley’s first content studios. He currently serves on the boards of WNYC, New York Public Radio, Data & Society, Giphy, Dots, and Blade. John holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University.

 

@Borthwick

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Cyberterrorism
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Cyberterrorism
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Episode 8
Featuring Josh Corman
Demetri Kofinas speaks with cybersecurity expert Josh Corman about the risks posed to our hospitals, medical devices, and industrial control systems from a cyberattack. What are the vulnerabilities in our connected devices, cars, aviation, and emergency response infrastructure? What can we do to combat cyberterrorism and cybercrime?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with cybersecurity expert and cyber safety advocate, Josh Corman. Josh is the founder of I am The Cavalry,an advocacy group actively engaged in addressing some of the most pressing issues of public safety and threats to human life on the Internet today. He is also the Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Josh Corman is part of the 2016 Cybersecurity Task Force commissioned by the United States Congress to address the growing risk to our hospitals, medical infrastructure, and connected devices, from cyber-attacks.

 

Gone are the quaint, innocent days of the early Internet, with its pesky Trojan’s, Macro Viruses, RATs, slammer worms, and blaster worms. Today’s cybersecurity landscape features a wide assortment of easily accessible and robust attack tools that exploit software bugs like Shellshock and Heartbleed. This is a cybersecurity landscape littered with DDoS and PDoS attacks like the Mirai Botnet and the recently released Brickerbot. The use of ransomware tools like CryptoLocker and SamSam have become billion-dollar criminal industries. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the global economy hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars a year. Yet, we accept the losses as the simple cost of doing business. But what about when the cost of these crimes escalates from dollars and cents to flesh and blood? What are the risks to our industrial control systems? What about our aviation and emergency response infrastructure? What are the vulnerabilities in our connected devices, cars, and hospitals? The threats posed by cyber criminals, terrorists, and hackers are no longer fringe concerns. They strike at the heart of our increasingly interconnected, exposed, and vulnerable society. In this episode, we explore what to do about them.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Play
Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese
Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese

Joshua Corman is the director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a founder of I am The Cavalry (dot org). Corman previously served as CTO for Sonatype, director of security intelligence for Akamai, and in senior research and strategy roles for The 451 Group and IBM Internet Security Systems. He co-founded @RuggedSoftware and @IamTheCavalry to encourage new security approaches in response to the world’s increasing dependence on digital infrastructure. Josh's unique approach to security in the context of human factors, adversary motivations, and social impact has helped position him as one of the most trusted names in security. He also serving as an adjunct faculty for Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College and on the 2016 HHS Cybersecurity Task Force.

 

@JoshCorman

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Space Studies
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Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese
Space Studies
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Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joan Freese, professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College about war in space. The militarization of space with its ASAT’s, Kinetic Orbital Strikes, and Kinetic Kill Vehicles, represents a serious threat to humanity. Yet the public remains largely unaware. It’s high time we take notice.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joan Johnson-Freese about space warfare and the weaponization of outer space. Joan Freese is a professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College. She’s been a faculty member at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and the Air War College, which emphasizes the employment of air, space, and cyberspace in joint operations. Professor Freese has also served on the Space Studies Board of the National Academies of Science and has often testified before Congress on matters of space warfare and space security. She is the author of multiple books on space warfare and space security, among them, Heavenly Ambitions: America’s Quest to Dominate Space, The Chinese Space Program: A Mystery Within a Maze, and her latest book, Space Warfare in the 21st Century.

 

In this episode, we go into outer space. We don’t just stay in the low earth orbit (LEO) of the international space station, but move all the way to high (HEO), geostationary orbits (GEO) more than twenty-six thousand miles (35,786 km) above the Earth’s equator, where some of our most valuable and vulnerable satellites operate. We look at what the United States, China, and Russia are doing in the area of space warfare. We look at what our militaries are doing to weaponization outer space. We learn about ASAT’s, Kinetic Orbital Strikes, and Kinetic Kill Vehicles. We learn that any significant use of anti-satellite technologies could create a wall of space debris around earth orbit so thick, that we would be unable to launch anything into space including satellites, our space station, and any space missions to Mars and beyond for generations. Any and all satellite communications would go dark. Global distribution networks – including our food supplies, energy, and transportation – would grind to a halt. The global banking and financial system would collapse. Our communication infrastructure would be devastated. The implications of space warfare are catastrophic, and yet, the public is largely unaware of the dangers orbiting right above our heads. It’s high time we take notice.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird
Special Episode
Featuring Bruce Schneier & Leemon Baird

Joan Freese is a political scientist and professor of National Security Affairs specializing in international relations generally and space security specifically.

 

Professional Military Education and Women, Peace & Security. Author of multiple non-fiction books and articles, featured speaker at numerous national and international events, and experienced media consultant. Currently teaching at Naval War College in Newport, RI. Also teach at Harvard Extension and Summer Schools - courses on Globalization & US National Security, and Space & Security, Women, Peace & Security and Leadership in War & Peace. Most recent book is Educating American's Military (2013), focusing on Professional Military Education at the nation's War Colleges. Extensive travel, lecturing, working with students, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. A former member of the Space Studies Board of the National Academies of Science, and the Advisory Committee of the Secure World Foundation.

 

@JohnsonFreese

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Pellentesque aliquet nibh nec urna. In nisi neque, aliquet vel, dapibus id, mattis vel, nisi. Sed pretium, ligula sollicitudin laoreet viverra, tortor libero sodales leo, eget blandit nunc tortor eu nibh. Nullam mollis. Ut justo. Suspendisse potenti.

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