<synthesis> Glossary of Distributed Technologies - call for contribution

Valeria Ferrari v.ferrari at uva.nl
Wed Dec 2 15:20:45 CET 2020

Dear all,

I would like to inform this community about the recent launch of the 'Glossary of Distributed Technologies', an editorial project hosted by the Internet Policy Review<https://policyreview.info/>.

Why this glossary? With a highly ideological charge, discourses on decentralised technologies have generated a wide vocabulary of context-specific terms that associate political, societal and technological issues in rather original ways. Just as any other subject, however, these technologies (as tools, as conceptual design, as symbols) are rooted in specific geographies, ideologies, gender relations, and reflect the biases encoded in these contexts. The related terminology is used and interpreted according to different purposes and pre(mis)conceptions. This prevents fruitful confrontations on the topic and paves the way to uninformed hypes and prejudices among scholars and public institutions. To tackle the existing gap in shared semantics, this glossary converges the efforts of experts from various disciplines to build a foundational vocabulary for academic (and non-academic, policy oriented, or other normative) discourse on this third wave of distributed technologies.

Process: The glossary is a work in progress for two reasons. First, it is meant as a glossary that will grow over time: more and more entries will be drafted periodically. Secondly, each glossary term is published using the open peer-review functionality, enabling all readers to post their reviews in the open. Over the next weeks and months, the glossary terms will be reviewed by scholars, practitioners and activists. Authors will then update their text as to integrate it (or not) the various entries.

The glossary is an initiative of the Blockchain and Society Policy Research Lab<https://blockchain-society.science/> at University of Amsterdam, in collaboration with the P2P Models<https://p2pmodels.eu/> project at Complutense University, the Weizenbaum Institute<https://weizenbaum-institut.de/> in Berlin, and the The Future of Distributed Governance project at CNRS. Our goal is, however, to create a diverse network of contributors and decentralised as much as possible the governance of the editorial process.

The following are the first glossary terms that are being openly reviewed here over the next weeks and months.

  *   Blockchain-based Technology - Florian Tschorsch, Maria-Cruz Valiente
  *   Decentralised Technology - Balázs Bodó, Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Jaya Klara Brekke
  *   Cryptocurrency - Ingolf Pernice, Brett Scott
  *   Crypto-economics – Wassim Alsindi, Jaya Klara Brekke
  *   Decentralised Autonomous Organisation - Samer Hassan, Primavera De Filippi
  *   Governance - Aron Fischer, Maria-Cruz Valiente
  *   Reputation, - Antonio Tenorio, Ori Shimony, Primavera De Filippi
  *   Trust/trustless - Moritz Becker, Balázs Bodó
  *   Self-Sovereign Identity - Alexandra Giannopoulou, Fennie Wang
  *   Smart contract - Primavera De Filippi, Chris Wray, Giovanni Sileno
  *   Digital scarcity - Aron Fischer, Jaya Klara Brekke
  *   Mining - Wassim Alsindi, Laura Lotti

We are encouraging a wide participation, so I invite all of you to spread the word about this initiative and to post your critical reviews on https://policyreview.info/glossary#node-1529. Under each entry it's possible to post a comment which will stay visible even after the final version of the entry will be published.

We are also open to receive proposals for new entries. In the document attached to this email, you can find a list of terms which we plan to include in future releases. You are free to submit a short abstract for one of the terms included in the list, or even suggest new ones.

I hope this project will interest many of you. Looking forward to your feedbacks!


Valeria Ferrari

PhD Candidate
Institute for Information Law (IViR)
University of Amsterdam

www.ivir.nl<https://www.ivir.nl/> |<https://webmail.uva.nl/owa/redir.aspx?C=CgtwL-O-YvQLHnzV_MCcuVCxJTJbnRJsTllhQnLgMgt7wWhEEhDWCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.ivir.nl%2f> Twitter<https://twitter.com/waleriaferrari> | LinkedIn<https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeriaferrari-/>
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