Computer Systems Laboratory Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, May 16, 2001
NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B03

Design for Commercial Reliance
"All the mutants have died, master. What shall we do different next time?"

Eric Hughes
About the talk:

The design parameters for building computer-based systems that embody commercial trust and are legally aware are much more about computer support for social structures of legitimacy than about anything else. In the words of the inimitable Bruno Latour: "The itinerary of facts becomes as easy to follow as that of railways or telephones, thanks to the materialization of the spirit that thinking machines and computers allow. When information is measured in bytes and bauds, when one subscribes to a data bank, when one can plug into (or unplug from) a network of distributed intelligence, it is harder to go on picturing universal thought as a spirit hovering over the waters. Reason today has more in common with a cable television network than with Platonic ideas." [Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, trans. Catherine Porter, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1993, page 119]

About the speaker:

Started working with digital cash in 1991. Started cypherpunks in 1992. Wrote code for money for a decade. Entreprenuering since 1995. Currently helping companies solve the right security problem for them rather than any number of the irrelevant ones.

Contact information:

Eric Hughes