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Bitcoin Anthropology

July 17th, 2021, 3:07 pm

Working on a little side project these days and thought I'd share some books, papers, and data with you folks from time to time.
Aside from covering a bit of the history, claims, controversies, and lawsuits, (see Gavin Wright, Dave Kleiman, etc.), will look at bitcoin as a (quasi) medium of exchange, store of value, technology (DLT), wildly speculative bubble, and an art form.

Like many side projects, this may go nowhere and get abandoned, but for now...

First, two sociological/cultural references:

The Gift - Marcel Mauss, courtesy of the Internet Archive - classic anthropology text and interesting background, I think, for this research.

An Engine, Not a Camera - Donald MacKenzie (pdf for convenience) and on Amazon here: An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets

This is a very good and rare kind of book that covers the markets from a deep cultural perspective. Not a financial thriller, not a moralistic public policy tome, and not The Wolf of Wall Street mythology. Well worth a look - note the comments on "performativity" in particular.

And here is a model for a sculpture that I will call "Bitcoin Potlatch, 2021.

Enjoy your weekends!