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Philosophy & Technology pp 1–17 | Cite asFair, Transparent, and Accountable Algorithmic Decision-making ProcessesThe Premise, the Proposed Solutions, and the Open ChallengesAuthorsAuthors and …
Philosophy & Technology pp 1–17 | Cite asFair, Transparent, and Accountable Algorithmic Decision-making ProcessesThe Premise, the Proposed Solutions, and the Open ChallengesAuthorsAuthors and affiliationsBruno LepriEmail rch ArticleFirst Online: 15 August 2017Received: 18 February 2017Accepted: 06 August 2017 58 Shares 825 Downloads AbstractThe combination of increased availability of large amounts of fine-grained human behavioral data and advances in machine learning is presiding over a growing reliance on algorithms to address complex societal problems. Algorithmic decision-making processes might lead to more objective and thus potentially fairer decisions than those made by humans who may be influenced by greed, prejudice, fatigue, or hunger. However, algorithmic decision-making has been criticized for its potential to enhance discrimination, information and power asymmetry, and opacity. In this paper, we provide an overview of available technical solutions to enhance fairness, accountability, and transparency in algorithmic decision-making. We also highlight the criticality and urgency to engage multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and citizens to co-develop, deploy, and evaluate in the real-world algorithmic decision-making processes designed to maximize fairness and transparency. In doing so, we describe the Open Algortihms (OPAL) project as a step towards realizing the vision of a world where data and algorithms are used as lenses and levers in support of democracy and development. KeywordsAlgorithmic decision-making Algorithmic transparency Fairness Accountability Social good This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access ReferencesAkerlof, G. (1970). The market for lemons: quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. 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The Battle for Blockchain Privacy: MoneroRoy WalkerBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingDec 17, 2018Thanks for tuning in! This post is part of a broader series on blockchain technology. In prior posts, I’ve …
The Battle for Blockchain Privacy: MoneroRoy WalkerBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingDec 17, 2018Thanks for tuning in! This post is part of a broader series on blockchain technology. In prior posts, I’ve provided an overview of blockchain’s history and have explained how protocols, DApps and ICOs work.Recently, I’ve turned my attention to the issue of blockchain privacy. My last article laid out an argument for why we need privacy coins and discussed how they may evolve in the future. My next few posts will get a bit more technical and break down how the top privacy protocols work, starting with Monero. Also, if you’re enjoying these posts and want future posts sent to your email, please subscribe to my distribution list! Alright, enough of the overview, let’s dive in.MoneroMonero is currently the king of the privacy world. Why? Because its underlying technology has one of the longest track records of success and because the coin touts the largest market cap among privacy coins.Before diving into the protocol’s mechanics, I’m going to start with a brief history as I think it provides some helpful context. However, if you feel like you have a good handle on the backstory (or just find history boring), feel free to skip ahead!A Brief History:Monero’s story begins in 2012 with the development of the CryptoNote protocol. CryptoNote was one of the first privacy-focused blockchain protocols and laid the foundation for a number of future cryptocurrencies. The protocol was established in December 2012 when Nicolas Van Saberhagen published the white paper “CryptoNote 1.0”. Similar to Bitcoin’s notorious founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, Nicolas Van Saberhagen is a pseudonym and, while there is plenty of speculation around his / her / their true identity, nobody has claimed ownership of the paper to date.CryptoNote 1.0 was a revolutionary white paper for a few reasons. First, it detailed a method for obscuring the identity of both the sender of a transaction (using Ring Signatures) and the recipient of a transaction (using Stealth Addresses). In addition to that, the protocol detailed a new proof-of-work mechanism called “CryptoNight”, which is resistant to the use of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (“ASICs”). If you haven’t heard that term before, an ASIC is an expensive piece of equipment that can be used to mine Bitcoin faster than a traditional CPU or GPU. The use of these on the Bitcoin network has led to the concentration of Bitcoin mining in the hands of a few well-funded operations, which has somewhat centralized the decentralized network. By implementing CryptoNight, the CryptoNote protocol attempted to avoid concentrated mining operations and create a system that is more in line with the one-CPU-one-vote ideal originally proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper. A few months later, in October 2013, Nicolas Van Saberhagen published an updated version of the white paper called CryptoNote v 2.0; however, the updated paper did not propose any noteworthy changes.A history of CryptoNote based cryptocurrencies. Source: WikipediaWhat’s important to note here is that, while the CryptoNote white paper detailed a groundbreaking new privacy-oriented protocol, it was simply a written document. There was never a CryptoNote network or a CryptoNote coin. That brings us to the next stage of Monero’s history: Bytecoin.Bytecoin was the first cryptocurrency to actually implement the CrytpoNote protocol. Bytecoin went live in November 2013 when the core Bytecoin team pushed their initial code to Github. A few months later, in March 2014, they pushed the remainder of the code and the protocol was up and running. Seems like a pretty straightforward story right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, like many things in crypto, the development of Bytecoin is shrouded in a bit of mystery and more than a few red flags. Let’s walk through a few of the core concerns:All of the original CrytpoNote and Bytecoin researchers were unknown entities. None of them had published any prior research or online commentary, indicating that they all were either operating under pseudonyms or had limited prior experience in the crypto space. Both of those possibilities were red flags.The original CryptoNote white paper, which was said to have come out in 2012, made a reference to a post that wasn’t published until 2013. In addition to that, it was later discovered that the white paper’s electronic signature was created in a way that could have been manipulated, drawing into question the true timing of the paper.The Bytecoin network didn’t take off until it was “randomly discovered” by two people using the same story on different online forums at the same time, leading some to believe that the “random discovery” was actually just an online post by members of the Bytecoin team.Lastly, the most important issue was that over 80% of Bytecoin was pre-mined, meaning that a substantial majority of the cryptocurrency was held by the coin’s developers. As a result, the coin was highly centralized and the lead developers were poised to reap the majority of the profits if it appreciated in value.These issues have led some people to conclude that a single group of developers created both the CryptoNote protocol and the Bytecoin cryptocurrency simultaneously. They believe that this group of developers deceived the public into believing that the CryptoNote white papers were created in 2012 when, in reality, they were created in 2014. In doing so, they “validated” the underlying CryptoNote concepts, lending legitimacy to the Bytecoin project and enabling them to profit immensely from the 80% pre-mined Bytecoin.Regardless of whether that theory was accurate, it was clear that, while the underlying CryptoNote technology was sound, the substantial pre-mining was going to create some long-term problems for the currency. As a result, several competing groups decided that they wanted to fork, or relaunch, the coin. The most relevant of these groups (at least for our story) wanted to launch a new coin called “bitMonero”. The group was hoping that bitMonero would fix a number of issues with the underlying Bytecoin protocol, including issues related to block rewards, block times, and emissions. Unfortunately, the group’s leader, a person operating under the pseudonym “thankful_for_today”, was in such a hurry to launch bitMonero that he completely ignored these key issues. He forked the Bytecoin codebase on 4/18/14 and subsequently disappeared. After thankful_for_today disappeared, the bitMonero community members decided it would be best to take over the project. Therefore, just five days after bitMonero’s initial launch, the group forked bitMonero’s code base, dropped the “bit” from the name and launched the new coin as “Monero”. Since then, the Monero team has continued to propose and implement important upgrades to the system. Notably, they incorporated Ring Confidential Transactions in 2016 to obscure transaction sizes and recently implemented bulletproofs to significantly reduce transaction fees. Additionally, Monero is in the process of developing Kovri, which is a technology that will enable users to hide their geographic location and IP address.Since it’s founding, Monero has done exceptionally well, growing to a market cap of over $7.6 billion at its peak. The crypto bear market has subsequently knocked its market cap down to approximately $716 million as of 12/4/18; however, it still ranks as the 12th largest cryptocurrency according to CoinMarketCap.The ProtocolNow that we have a good understanding of Monero’s history, let’s discuss how the protocol actually works. While there are a number of features that differentiate the Monero protocol, including variable block sizes, a built-in inflation mechanism, and the ASIC-resistant CryptoNight consensus mechanism, we’re going to focus specifically on its privacy-related features. The Monero protocol provides users with privacy through the implementation of three core cryptographic techniques: (i) stealth addresses, (ii) ring signatures, and (iii) ring confidential transactions. These techniques obscure the transaction’s sender, recipient, and amount, respectively. Let’s break each of them down further.Stealth AddressesAs we mentioned above, stealth addresses enable the Monero protocol to obscure a transaction recipient’s identity. They do this by requiring the sender to create a random one time public address for every transaction. That transaction can then be accessed by the recipient but cannot be linked to the recipient’s true public address, making it impossible for an outside entity to determine the recipient’s identity. So how exactly do these stealth addresses work? This is about to get a bit technical so, again, feel free to skip ahead if you don’t want the additional detail.To understand how stealth addresses work, you need to understand a little bit of elliptic curve cryptography (“ECC”). As the name implies, elliptic curve cryptography is a form of public key cryptography that is based on the underlying algebra of elliptic curves. This cryptographic method is considered to be more efficient than traditional methods because it can generate the same level of security with a much smaller key size, effectively reducing a protocol’s storage and transmission requirements.Example of an elliptic curveMonero uses a very specific elliptic curve called the Edwards25519 curve. The points on the curve can be added to or subtracted from other points on the curve. When you add or subtract two points on the same curve, the result is a third point on the curve. Additionally, each point on the curve can be “scaled”, meaning that it can be added to itself x number of times (where “x” is the scalar value). To use an example, if you want to scale point A by a factor of 3, you simply need to calculate A + A + A.Bear with me, we’re almost there. We just need to quickly cover three properties of elliptic curves that make them particularly useful in the creation of stealth addresses.First, there is a point on the curve called “G”, which is known as the “base point”. You can think of G as the 12 on a clock. It is generally the starting point for calculations and is also the point where the curve loops over.Second, there is a unique scalar value called “L”, which represents the number that G must be scaled by before the curve loops over. Said another way, if you add G to itself L times, you would make it the whole way around the loop and start back at G. This is similar to a clock going through a full loop and making it back to 12.Third, in elliptic curve cryptography, each user has four keys. They have a public spend key, a private spend key, a public view key, and a private view key. The private keys represent scalar values and the public keys represent points on the curve. What’s interesting is that the public keys are actually calculated from the private keys. Public keys are simply equal to the private key (which is a scalar value) multiplied by the base point (G). For example, if your private spend key is 3, then your public spend key would simply be 3G or G+G+G. It’s important to note that, while it is relatively easy to take your private key and derive the public key, it is computationally infeasible to take the public key and derive the private key, particularly for large scalar values.Congrats! You now have the minimum understanding of ECC to understand stealth addresses. Like we mentioned above, stealth addresses are one time public keys that are created by the sender and are unlinkable to the recipient’s true public key. They are created using an Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman exchange, which is basically just a method for exchanging a shared secret over an insecure network. In my opinion, the easiest way to understand the stealth address creation process is to walk through an example. So let’s imagine that John wants to send Monero to Sue. In order to do so, John must go through the following steps:First, John needs to pick a random scalar value “r”, which is somewhere between 0 and L (the maximum scalar before the curve loops back to G). John can use that random scalar value to generate the associated public key: R = rG.Second, John multiplies r by Sue’s public key S to get rS. It’s important to note here that John and Sue are the only ones that can calculate this value. This is a result of the third property discussed above. Because public keys are simply private keys multiplied by the base point G, we know that rS = rsG = rGs = Rs. Therefore, Sue can derive the value by multiplying her secret key s by the randomly generated public key R and John can derive the value by multiplying the randomly generated secret key r by Sue’s public key S. Nobody else can calculate this value because they cannot access either secret key.Third, John then takes the hash of rS to create a brand new scalar value. This is the part of the process that makes the transaction unlinkable.Fourth, after deriving this new scalar value, John multiplies it by the base point G to generate a new point on the curve called F. Using mathematical notation, F = H(rS)*G.Fifth, John can finally create the stealth address (let’s call it “P”) by adding F to Sue’s public key. Again, if we use mathematical notation this looks like: P = F + S, where S represents Sue’s public key.By creating the public key in this manner, Sue is able to retain her anonymity. In addition to that, she’s still able to identify the transactions that were sent to her public key. How does she do that? She’s able to identify transactions sent to her public key by constantly scanning the network and essentially re-engineering John’s process for each outstanding transaction. In practice, that means that Sue’s wallet will scan the network, find an outstanding transaction, take that transaction’s public key R, multiply it by her private key s, hash it, add the hash output to her public key S, and check to see if the resulting stealth address matches the transaction’s. If it does, she knows that the transaction was meant for her. If it doesn’t, her wallet moves on and checks the next transaction.Okay great, now we know how to create a one time public address and how Sue can identify the transactions that were sent to her. But how can Sue actually spend those transaction outputs? To spend the transaction outputs, Sue needs to calculate the transaction’s one time private key. What’s cool is that she can actually derive the one time private key using both the one time public key, R, and her own private key, s. To derive the one time private key (let’s call it “x”), she simply has to add her private key to the hash of Rs (the output of step three above). Using mathematical notation, this looks like: x = s + H(Rs). She can then use that private key to sign a new transaction with a ring signature, which we’ll cover in greater detail in our next section.Hopefully that clarifies how stealth addresses work! If you’re still confused by ECC or stealth addresses, I highly recommend reading this article. That’s what really made it click for me. Alright, let’s move on and discuss our next cryptographic technique: ring signatures.Ring SignaturesStealth addresses are great for obscuring the recipient’s identity but they only get us part of the way there. We need to be able to obscure the sender’s identity as well, which is where ring signatures come in. Ring signatures obscure the sender’s identity by randomly selecting transaction outputs from the network, taking the public keys from those transactions, and mixing them in with the sender’s one time public key. In doing so, ring signatures make it impossible for an outsider to determine which of the public keys actually sent the transaction. In the eyes of a third party, each public key has an equiprobable chance of being the true sender.This presents us with an interesting challenge. If we completely obscure the sender’s identity, how can we be sure that the Monero hasn’t already been spent? Said another way, how do you solve the double spend problem if you don’t know which public key initiated the transaction? Fortunately, Monero has solved this potential issue by using something known as a key image. Essentially, there is a key image associated with each transaction. The key image is calculated by multiplying the one time private key, x, by the hash of the one time public key. In mathematical notation, this looks like: I = x * H(P). By calculating a key image in this manner, it is infeasible for a third party to determine which private or public key was used to create the key image, maintaining the sender’s anonymity. At the same time, it is only possible to generate one key image for each one time private / public key combination, eliminating the potential of a double spend.Okay, so now we have a basic understanding of what a ring signature is and how it mitigates the double spend issue through the use of key images. But how do we actually create one? How does Sue use the one time private key to spend the output that John sent her? Ring signatures are created through something known as a “non-interactive zero knowledge proof” or “NIZKP” for short. That term probably sounds a bit opaque / complicated so please join me on a quick zero knowledge proof tangent.A zero knowledge proof (or “ZKP”) is basically a way of proving that you know something without actually revealing what you know. To use a popular illustrative example, imagine that you have two balls that are the exact same shape and size but are two different colors. Now, imagine that you need to prove to a blind friend of yours that the balls are different even though they feel exactly the same. How would you do it? One way to do so would be to have him put the two balls behind his back, mix them up and present one to you. If you can correctly tell him which ball is which then you demonstrate that there is likely a difference between the two. If you can repeat this process many times without a mistake, you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are two different colors. In fact, you can prove that they are two different colors without ever revealing what the two colors are. This is an example of an interactive proof. With an interactive proof, there is a prover and a verifier. The verifier asks the prover a bunch of questions (called “challenges”) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they know what they say they know.In cryptography, you can use ZNKs to prove that somebody knows a private key without actually revealing the private key. These proofs typically follow the following pattern. First, the prover generates a random private key. Second, the prover uses that random private key to generate an associated public key. Third, the verifier issues a challenge in the form of a random value. Fourth, the prover calculates a new private key using the original private key and the challenge value as inputs. Fifth, the verifier can validate that the associated public key is accurate and could only be calculated if the prover has the private key.That description is a little bit abstract so let’s go through a basic example. Keep in mind that this is not the ZKP that Monero uses. Alright, imagine that Sue has a one time private key x and an associated one time public key P. She wants to prove that she knows x without revealing the true value. To do so, she creates a random private key, let’s call it q. She multiplies q by G to get the associated public key Q, which she then sends to Bob. Bob sends back a challenge, which is another random scalar value called c. Sue can then do the following calculation to derive a new private key: s = x*c + a. Aka, she can transform x using c and a. This allows her to prove that she knows x without revealing x. She then sends the new private key s back to Bob. Bob can then prove that Sue knows the private key x because he can check that the new public key S (which he generates using s) is equal to P*c + A. Said another way, even though he does not know x or a, he knows that if S = Pc+A, then Sue must know x because of the following identity:Pc + A = x*G*c + a*G = (x*c)*G + a*G = (x*c + a) * G = SBy issuing multiple challenges, he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sue knows x. This is an interactive zero knowledge proof because Sue and Bob sent multiple challenges / responses back and forth. But what if Bob isn’t around and Sue still wants to prove that she knows x? In this case, she can use a non-interactive zero knowledge proof. An NIZKP is the same as an interactive proof, except that it replaces Bob with a hash function. So rather than Bob randomly choosing the challenge, Sue can take the hash of A and use that as the challenge c. Also, if Sue wants to include some message in the proof, she can concatenate that with A before taking the hash. This allows Sue to prove the exact same thing without requiring a verifier. She can also send that proof to anybody that asks.Okay great, now we know how ZNKs work but what the heck does it have to do with a ring signature? It surprisingly has a lot to do with ring signatures because ring signatures use a form of NIZKP to create and validate the ring. Basically, if Sue wants to send the Monero she received from John, she needs to go through the following steps:First, she needs to collect a bunch of inputs that will be used in the NIZKP. These include the key image, the one time private key x, the one time public key P, and a number of public keys associated with random transaction outputs on the network. As we mentioned before, these random public keys will serve as decoys. By including these as inputs in the transaction, each public key has an equiprobable chance of being the true public key, making it impossible for a third party to determine who is actually initiating the transaction.Second, she chooses two random values (q and w) for each public key in the ring. She then takes those random values and uses them to transform the public keys by running them through a couple of relatively complicated equations. You can check out those equations in the white paper if you’re interested! After transforming each of those public keys, she’s left with a new string of values.Third, she takes that string of values and hashes it to create the non-interactive challenge c.Fourth, similar to our initial example, she takes that challenge and uses it to calculate two new strings (c and r). She then combines those two strings and includes the key image to create the ring signature. The ring signature output is in the following form: σ = (I, c1, . . . , cn, r1, . . . , rn). Again, feel free to check the equations used to calculate this string in the initial white paper.Finally, after calculating this ring signature, a verifier can use the c and r values from step 4 to confirm the output generated in step 2. If the output matches up, then the ring signature is valid. If not, the verifier can reject the ring signature.This may have been way more detail than you wanted but the main takeaways are that (i) ring signatures obscure the sender’s identity by lumping his / her public key in with a bunch of random keys taken from the blockchain, (ii) they do this through the implementation of a non-interactive zero knowledge proof, and (iii) they generate unique key images for each transaction, which prevent double spending. With that, let’s move on to the third and final privacy technique used in the Monero protocol: ring confidential transactions.Ring Confidential TransactionsRing confidential transactions (or “Ring CT” for short) are the final piece of the privacy puzzle for Monero. Ring CT enables the Monero protocol to obscure transaction amounts. The technique was originally created by Bitcoin core developer Gregory Maxwell and was implemented by Monero soon after.So why do we need to obscure transaction amounts if we already obscure the transaction participants? It’s important to obscure transaction amounts because a malicious third party can actually use transaction amounts to piece together a full transaction history. For instance, in our original example, if John sent Sue 4.32 Monero and Sue then used those 4.32 Monero to pay Bob, somebody could actually follow the commitment trail and link Sue to her previous transactions. This is particularly true when users send or receive uncommon transaction amounts. Prior to the implementation of Ring CT, Monero solved this issue by breaking transactions up into common chunks. For instance, it would break the 4.32 Monero up into 4.00, 0.30, and 0.02 XMR. It would then use prior transactions with the exact same amounts as mix-ins for the ring signature. That worked pretty well but there were a few key issues with the approach. Notably, it created a lot of “dust” on the blockchain. By dust, I’m referring to small transaction amounts like the 0.02 in our example above, which take up more space on the blockchain than they are actually worth. Additionally, by requiring the sender to mix these inputs in with inputs of the exact same size, it significantly reduced the pool of potential mix-ins, making it challenging to construct a ring of an appropriate size in some cases. Luckily, Ring CT solved these issues by obscuring transaction amounts. But how does it actually do that?It does so through the use of Pederson commitments. Pederson commitments essentially encrypt a transaction so that only the sender and the recipient know the true transaction amount. At the same time, other network participants are able to prove that the sum of the inputs is equal to the sum of the outputs, ensuring that coins were not created out of thin air. Let’s illustrate through an overly simplified example. Imagine that you have three inputs for a transaction: 1, 3, and 5. You also have three outputs from a transaction: 1,2, and 6. You know that the sum of the inputs are equal to the sum of the outputs because 1+3+5 = 9 = 1+2+6. In order to shield the input and output amounts while still allowing a verifier to confirm that the outputs equal the inputs, you can transform both sides of the equation by some value (let’s call it A).This would look like: 1A + 3A + 5A = 1A + 2A + 6A.Which is the same as saying: A(1+3+5) = A(1+2+6)Monero’s implementation is a bit more complicated but this gives you an idea of how it works. One interesting point here is that, by this definition, somebody could potentially use a negative output to create Monero out of thin air. For instance, you could say that 1+3+5=-100+109. To eliminate that possibility, Ring CT uses range proofs to make sure that users can’t game the system by using negative inputs or outputs.Pros and ConsClearly, Monero has implemented some innovative techniques for obscuring transaction identities. So how does it stack up to other privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies? Let’s quickly walk through a couple of its pros and cons.ProsThe top benefit of Monero is that it is private by default. This means that if you want to send a transaction on the Monero blockchain, you have to do so anonymously. This differs from other privacy coins like ZCash that gives users the option to send a transaction with or without the privacy features. Why does that matter? Surprisingly, if you don’t require privacy for all users, then somebody could use advanced blockchain analysis techniques to compromise the anonymity of the users who have opted into the privacy features. Additionally, it has been shown that a very small percentage of users actually opt into the privacy features when offered the option. This limits the size of the shielded pool, further reducing the network’s privacy benefits. If you want to read more, there was a paper written by researchers at the University of London on the issue, which you can find here. They conclude that:“… our study has shown that most users are not taking advantage of the main privacy feature of Zcash at all. Furthermore, the participants who do engage with the shielded pool do so in a way that is identifiable, which has the effect of significantly eroding the anonymity of other users by shrinking the overall anonymity set.”Another pro is that Monero is more decentralized than other privacy protocols on several different fronts. First, Monero does not rely on trusted parties like coin mixing services or trusted nodes (like Dash); rather, it incorporates privacy techniques directly into its protocol. Second, there is no central entity making decisions on behalf of the network. While the core team is responsible for maintaining the code base and guiding the protocol in the right direction, it does not have the final say over decision-making. This directly contrasts ZCash, where the ZCash company has significant control over the development of the protocol. Third, Monero’s CryptoNight consensus mechanism has enabled it to remain resistant to concentrated mining operations. Cryptocurrencies that have not updated their consensus mechanism, such as ZCash, may run into mining concentration issues.ConsSo are there any issues with Monero? Yep. The biggest issue confronting Monero is scalability. While this is an issue for all cryptocurrencies, it is particularly problematic for Monero. This is because all of the decoys that are used in Monero’s ring signatures need to be included in the transaction, which meaningfully increases the average transaction size. Luckily, Monero recently implemented bulletproofs, which have significantly reduced transaction sizes; however, the average Monero transaction still far exceeds the average Bitcoin transaction. Additionally, it’s likely that Monero will implement new privacy features in the future (such as increased ring sizes) that will further bloat transaction sizes. This is an issue that the Monero community is acutely aware of so I’d be surprised if it didn’t ultimately get remedied; however, there are not any near-term solutions on the horizon.Wrapping UpThat wraps up my overview of Monero, I hope you found it interesting! Stay tuned for my next post, which will break down ZCash and Dash. If you enjoyed this post and would like future posts sent directly to your email, please subscribe to my distribution list or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.If you have an interest in venture capital and want to read more VC-related content, please follow my publication “All Things Venture Capital” on twitter. Also, let me know if you’re interested in adding to the publication! My goal is to continue to add high quality content (articles, podcasts, videos, etc.) from aspiring and current venture capitalists that want to share their perspective. Thanks for reading!Sources:Monero: titles.researchlabtitles.researchlab [on the home of Monero, a digital currency that is secure, private, and untraceable]www.getmonero.orgWhat is Monero? An In-depth GuideOriginally launched in April 2014 as BitMonero, Monero (symbol XMR), means money in esperanto. Monero, a fork of…hackernoon.comMonero (XMR) AnalysisTL;DR: Monero is a privacy centered coin that uses novel cryptography to solve the fungibility challenges plaguing…medium.comWhat is The CryptoNote Technology? Complete Beginner's GuideThe CryptoNote Reference Implementation is an open-source application layer protocol that serves as the underlying…blockonomi.comWhat is the origin of Monero and its relationship to Bytecoin?The answer to this question is long and any shortening doesn't do the question justice. This is an edited version of…monero.stackexchange.comTHE REALITY BEHIND THE BYTECOIN (BCN) PRICE PUMP - Coin DiaryIn the early morning hours of May 8, Binance announced that it had opened trading pairs for BCN with Bitcoin (BTC)…coindiary.netBytecoin: The Cryptocurrency Scam that Resembles a Black Hole | BTCMANAGERBytecoin (BCN) was the first CryptoNote cryptocurrency, based on an entirely different codebase than Bitcoin's. Almost…btcmanager.comWhat Are Ring Signatures? Providing Privacy for CryptocurrencyWith a consistent emphasis on privacy within cryptocurrencies being placed by users, significant developments in…blockonomi.comStealth Address (Cryptocurrency)Stealth addresses prevent any possible public association of a transaction's output with a recipient's wallet address…www.investopedia.comZero Knowledge Proofs: An illustrated primer, Part 2This post is the second in a two-part series on zero-knowledge proofs. Click here to read Part 1. In this post I'm…blog.cryptographyengineering.comWhat is the Random Oracle Model and why should you care? (Part 2)This is part 2 of a series on the Random Oracle Model. See "Part 1: An introduction" for the previous post. In a…blog.cryptographyengineering.comWhat The Hell Is Monero: A Currency That Keeps Your Anonymity SafeCreated in April 2014, Monero (XMR) is a cryptocurrency with a focus on privacy and untraceability. Monero uses ring…www.draglet.comConfidential Transactions from Basic PrinciplesDuring my time at NCC Group this summer, I had the opportunity to dig into all sorts of cryptocurrency software to see…cryptoservices.github.ioThe Monero Moon (Issue 2)The Monero Moon is a new curated weekly newsletter regarding all things Monero.medium.com
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Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread. Token Black and Token Crip. The Token Minority is a character designed to get more minority groups into the plot. This serves …
Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread. Token Black and Token Crip. The Token Minority is a character designed to get more minority groups into the plot. This serves several purposes: Allows the producers of the show to broaden the appeal of the show by giving more viewers protagonists they can identify with. Is useful for bringing in discussions of racial issues, gender issues or homophobia into the plot. Helps the producers feel a little better about using a Scary Minority Suspect in every other case. Allows the producers to make race jokes related to minority without any shame. Allows the producers to avoid criticism from minority groups. Fulfills the executives' desire for the show to be more ethnically respectful. Depending on the setting, it can merely be an accurate representation of demographics in that region or industry. In some casts of animal, alien, or monster characters, World of Funny Animals or not, there is a majority species and one or more minority species. Often the majority of the animal cast is made up of mammals and there is a token non-mammal. Usually, the token non-mammal is a bird, but reptiles, amphibians, and even invertebrates are certainly not unheard of. Sometimes, there are token Petting Zoo People in a group of Funny Animal /Civilized Animal tier animals. Sometimes, there are token animals, aliens, or monsters representing ethnic minorities in a group made of supposedly "white" ones. You might see this term used derisively in most contexts. This isn't out of contempt for minorities; this trope simply causes problems with representation, where, for example, the single black guy is forced to be exemplary of his entire race. This is very likely to lead to Positive Discrimination and make him The Scrappy . If there are instead four minorities (assuming a sizable cast), they can all have different strengths and flaws which round them out and make them generally equal to the rest of the cast. Taking this approach, Unfortunate Implications are unlikely to happen unless you somehow subject them all to the same stereotypes. You can even have one be explicitly antagonistic. However, this can be Truth in Television in cases where the prevalence of the minority, combined with the size of the cast and the demographics of the setting make it genuinely unlikely that there will be more than one member of the minority present (not that this would justify stereotypes, but it would justify having only one minority). For instance, a show set in rural Maine would strain credulity if its cast of five main characters included multiple racial minorities (simply because rural Maine is overwhelmingly white), and a show set in the American Bible Belt would have a hard time convincingly justifying multiple self-professed atheists in a cast of ten (unless a major theme of the show is nonconformity or religious/atheist tensions). Compare Captain Ethnic , Token Nonhuman , Token Human , Token Enemy Minority , Token Minority Couple , Token White , Twofer Token Minority , Five-Token Band , Informed Judaism , Black Vikings , Black Best Friend , and The Smurfette Principle . Examples: open/close all folders Advertising TV Ads in Australia sometimes have this (especially in "hip" young thing products like Coke). May have 1 Asian Woman, 1 African Woman, 1 White Girl, 2 White Guys and 1 Aboriginal or Middle Eastern Male. Target ads are particularly well-known for this. There will always be one blonde white girl, one brunette white girl, one Asian girl and one black girl. Always. University brochures also do this. You'll always see at least one black person and Asian person for every two white people. In brochures for traditionally black schools, there's a token white on every page. Further proof that Covers Always Lie. A controversy erupted after it was revealed that a photograph used to adorn the front of a University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate application booklet for the 2001-02 school year was altered to add the image of a black student among a sea of white faces. A Veet ad has this. When they state that eight out of ten women were happy with the product, they showed a lineup of eight women with one of them being black. Curiously, they are all dubbed over with the same voice. Anime & Manga Poor Hans, in The Daughter of Twenty Faces, is seemingly the only non-Japanese member of a group of burglars led by Gentleman Thief "Twenty-Faces" that is ostensibly a globe-trotting organization. He often uses Gratuitous German, to boot. Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech had Claudia Grant/Claudia LaSalle, apparently the only black woman on the entire ship. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross had Bowie Emerson, seemingly the only black man on the entire planet Glorie. In Robotech, he was re-written to be Claudia's nephew (and given a new surname of "Grant"). Rakshata and Viletta of Code Geass, as they're the only Non-white/Chinese/Japanese characters of any plot importance, and of the two, Rakshata is the one who gets played in a more positive light. Of the others, we have a supposedly elite pilot who dies mere seconds after she first appears on screen, and King. And Nunnally fits in to the paraplegic category. Mobile Suit Gundam 00: In the first season of Gundam 00, Daryl Dodge has the honor of being the only black person at all. He's also killed off in episode 23. Season 2 does introduce another black man as president of the Earth Sphere Federation, although that might be more to reflect the real world than tokenism. However, he has little impact on the plot. A minor example with Setsuna F Seiei-whilst he does appear to fit this trope both within Celestial Being and in the wider Gundam metaverse in regards to protagonists, his middle eastern homeland forms a two episode story arc in the first season and plays a large role in his interactions with the princess of a neighbouring country. However, the middle eastern aspects of the story only serve to represent the region and 21st century problems to Japanese audiences, and beyond that, has no real importance to the story as the series progresses. Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket has Professor Lunland as the sole black character, and Gabriel as the sole Latino. Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has the black Shinta and Ambiguously Brown Qum, but that's about it. Later in the show, Judau ended up befriending a young pilot from Africa, but his time on the show was very brief. Simon is the only black character in Durarara!!, though a black gangster is also seen in the episode "Heaven's Vengeance". It's also implied that minor character Tom Tanaka might be part black, though it's never clarified either way. Sailor Moon: Elza Gray was the only black character in Sailor Moon. There was also the Ambiguously Brown Sailor Pluto, depicted as noticeably dark-skinned in comparison to other Senshi, and moreso in the manga. Some say she's of Romani descent. Indian student Akira is the only non-Japanese member of the main cast of Tsuritama. Kate, the grandmother of one of the other protagonists, is French, while several black and Arabic members appear in the show's villainous Cosmopolitan Council. Bob from Tenjho Tenge would count as this. He's the sole black member of the otherwise Japanese cast. Similarly, Central High's Vice President is the only black character in Daily Lives of High School Boys. Understandable since the series is set in a small Japanese town, and usually it tends to be large cities that take part in student exchange programs with other countries. Yasutora "Chad" Sado in Bleach is half-Japanese, half-Latino in an otherwise manga-typical all-Japanese cast. Jun Hono, the half-black, half-Japanese pilot from Great Mazinger and Mazinkaiser. Jose Rodriguez, the nerdy Afro-Latino doctor from Kyo Kara Maoh! Mikasa from Attack on Titan is one of the very few Asians alive, if not the last one, at the time of the story. She serves as a deconstruction; she's a token minority because her mother's people have been nearly wiped out. The fandom sometimes jokingly speculates that she's the beneficiary of Conservation of Ninjutsu because of this, resulting in Positive Discrimination. It's ultimately subverted when we find out that Levi's surname is Ackerman, indicating that Mikasa's badass qualities are inherited from her European father's lineage, not her Asian mother's. Choe Gu-Sung from Psycho-Pass is the only Korean character in a series that takes place in Japan. In Saki, an inversion happens for Rinkai, whose mahjong team is otherwise composed of transfer students. Satoha, the vanguard player, is the only Japanese member of the team, partly because of the rules requiring a Japanese player as vanguard, and partly because she is the ace. Played straight with Aislinn of Miyamori's team, who is from New Zealand and is on an otherwise entirely Japanese team. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa takes place in early 20th century Germany. Of the main characters Noah is the only non-white character, being Romani. Audio Play Lampshaded in The Firesign Theatre's "High School Madness" sketch, from the album Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, where Mexican-American students come out of nowhere just to ask the white protagonist for advice (then promptly disappear). Comic Books Adam Brashear, the Blue Marvel who featured in the eponymous mini series of 2009, represents a rather awkward representation of this trope. He is for all intents and purposes (in the context of the story) a Black Superman from a time when the adjective was quite emphatically capitalized. And applied as a noun. It doesn't help that even without his powers, Brashear is a super-man - an athlete, military hero and scientific genius who gained ultra-super-powers when the experimental anti-matter reactor he was creating exploded. For about a year, he was the primary hero of the Marvel Universe (perhaps coincidentally around the same time the Sentry was supposedly very successful), but then it was discovered he was black, which immediately led to outrage and uproar among both black and white communities, until the President (JFK) gave the Blue Marvel the Congressional Medal of Honor and told him to quit being a superhero. Which he did until the present day. He is now a member if the Mighty Avengers. Under the "women as minorities" category (which, in superhero comics, they definitely were until much later and in many books still are) every superhero team used to have exactly one female member. The Avengers had The Wasp (later replaced by the Scarlet Witch), the Fantastic Four had the Invisible Girl (later Invisible Woman), the Justice League had Wonder Woman (or the Black Canary, depending on when you asked), the Teen Titans had Wonder Girl, the original X-Men had Marvel Girl, and the second team of X-Men had Storm (who was also, for quite a while, the only black X-Man. She joined the team along with Sunfire, a Japanese man who left almost immediately, and Thunderbird, a Native American man who died almost immediately, making her also the only active non-white X-Man for a good while). All those teams except the FF tend to have more female members these days (though the JLA goes through periods of focusing on D.C.'s "Big 7" wherein Wonder Woman is the only female member) and some have gone through stretches where the women outnumbered the men. Blindside in the comic series Relative Heroes. Notable in that the series was about a family of superheroes, and Blindside was explained as having been adopted in order to justify having a black kid as part of the main cast. The Justice League goes back in forth on this, with some eras (such as the Meltzer and McDuffie years) having very diverse casts, while others, like the James Robinson run, were criticized for having no minority members whatsoever. During the New 52 relaunch, Cyborg was retconned into being the sole non-white founding member of the original team, presumably to make up for the extended periods of whiteness. Lampshaded in Grant Morrison's JLA run. Plastic Man jokingly states that Steel can't quit the Justice League because then the team would lose its only minority member. Archie Comics: In order to keep up with changing American trends, the comic added some ethnic characters in the 70's: African-Americans Coach Clayton, his son Chuck (who, like many Africans of the day, sported a righteous 'fro) and Chuck's girlfriend Nancy, as well as the Hispanic Frankie Valdez & his girlfriend Maria. As of 2010, the former three continue to appear quite regularly (and Chuck has naturally lost the 'fro). The latter two, not so much. The company later introduced Kevin Keller, the first gay character in the series. Kevin was met with backlash by some conservative Christian groups but his debut issues sold very well and he was even given his own mini-series. Later Archie comics have also introduced some other minority characters, including Ginger Lopez (who works for a teen fashion magazine) and Raj Patel (an Indian student interested in film). Ginger shows up fairly regularly (moreso than Maria). In Archie Comics (2015) Jughead is asexual. He's the only known ace character. Debuting in 52, Batwoman managed to provoke a Broken Base even before this due to press releases touting her as DC's first lesbian hero, who would be receiving DC's full support. Then DC promptly didn't do anything with her outside the series for over a year (and even in the series, she received little attention, as she was more supporting cast for her girlfriend, Renee Montoya). In all that time, she had very little storyline, so her characterization was mostly as a closeted lesbian and a Jew. When she came back in her own series, she was retconned into having a much more butch look and having come out several years before her first appearance. The Falcon was this in-universe. He was added to The Avengers because Gyrich insisted that the team should have more black members; he didn't actually want to join. According to Christopher Priest, Falcon's nickname in the Marvel offices throughout the 70s and early 80s was "Fal-coon". No, Priest wasn't alright with it, though being a lowly intern at the time, he didn't raise a big stink. In his blog, he refuses to name the co-workers who used it for fear of burning his bridges. Years later, Triathlon served the exact same role (again, in-universe) during Kurt Busiek's run. Later iterations of the team were thankfully more diverse. Rage also had bits of this in his debut story. He was given a spot on the Avengers line-up after picking a fight with Captain America over the lack of minority heroes on the team. Empress was the sole minority member of the original Young Justice team, and was added relatively late into the run after some complaints about the Monochromatic makeup of the cast. Lampshaded in Peter Milligan's X-Force run with Anarchist, a black superhero who opposes the decision to add another black member to the team. His reasoning? Since most superhero teams rarely have more than one minority member, another black guy on the team means that one of them will inevitably die. Averted in the X-Statix series that followed, which has an additional black member (Venus), plus a Latino member (El Guapo), and two gay members (Vivisector and Phat). In the 2005 Marvel comic Wha...Huh?, one of the stories reimagines Black Panther as a white man from South America, who is upset when he learns that The Avengers just want a token black superhero in their team and thought he was misrepresenting his race (also, Black Widow is just there to fill the "woman quota".) Though Runaways had a more diverse cast than most other mainstream comics, the team has only ever had two black members, neither of whom stayed until the end of the series, and one of whom was actually a Skrull. Superman comics Ron Troupe started as the only black recurring staff member working at The Daily Planet. Jem and the Holograms: Jetta, the token British character. She was the only non-American until The Stingers showed up. Jetta's also the only non-white member of her band, but this is downplayed as the series has a diverse cast. Blaze is the only confirmed transgender character thus far. Fan Works The "black guy in the corner" from Sherlock Season 4. The author even explicitly states that he added him so his story wouldn't be racist. In the early days of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, Twilight was often portrayed the only POC in Ponyville when the cast was "humanized" in fan works, usually as black or Indian. Nowadays, more diverse interpretations are becoming more popular in the fandom, such as Middle Eastern Fluttershy and Rarity, Black or biracial Pinke Pie, Applejack and/or Rarity being trans mares, varying sexualities amongst the Mane Six, and Rainbow Dash being a black or latino lesbian showing up sometimes. Film Parodied by Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle with posters advertising the first movie as starring "That Asian guy from American Pie" and "That Indian guy from Van Wilder". In terms of film, equally well parodied/referenced by the "Token Black Guy" in Not Another Teen Movie. Named Malik Token, the Genre Savvy token helpfully explains the joke to the audience by introducing himself as the person that stays out of conversations and says "Damn!", "Shit!", and "That is whack!" At a party later in the film, he sees another black guy, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, Token Minority from Cruel Intentions, and tells him that he was at the party first and the other man apologizes and leaves the party. Malik's Crowning Moment of Awesome was when he got to say, "Damn, that shit is whack!" There's also the musical number: "I'm only in this song because I'm a black guy" Star Wars After Episode IV became a blockbuster, numerous people noticed that an entire galaxy of humans were all white. (Which was not entirely true; it was just that the main characters were all white.) Episode V introduced Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, the Token Minority Black. Samuel L. Jackson in the prequels may also be a example of this, as his character serves as little more than a background character until Revenge of the Sith (excluding his excellent use in the Clone Wars shorts). Casting Temuera Morrison, who is a Mori, as Jango Fett and by retroactive consequence, his clone Boba Fett and every single clonetrooper reduces all other characters in the series (black, white or green) to token minorities by sheer weight of numbers. The initial casting announcement for the first episode of the third trilogy included another black actor, but not Billy Dee Williams. Meaning, as of this writing there are now three black guys in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, but in accordance with this trope, only one is allowed to be alive at any one time. Since then, they've also added Lupita Nyong'o to the cast of Episode VII (but she voices an orange-skinned alien, so the actress's race is not visible). While the 2006 historical film Flyboys was already heavily criticized for its historical inaccuracies relating to its World War I setting, one of the more amusing ones came from the film's fictional Token Minority, Eugene Skinner, a black boxer who joined the squadron to 'pay back' his adopted homeland. Mainly because the end of the movie showed a picture of the real-life squadron which was composed of exactly zero minorities. A rare moment where a film actually seems proud to reveal when it didn't do its research. The Other Wiki's entry on the film points out that the film confuses the Lafayette Escadrille with the Lafayette Flying Corps with whom Eugene Bullard (the real person Skinner was based on) actually flew. Harvey Weinstein loved using this trope for his productions back in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Starting with Scream 2, nearly all of his teen-aimed productions had at least one token black character (often played by a rapper) solely to bump up the box office. He seemed to stop this after Shall We Dance?, which had an Advertised Extra in the form of Ja Rule (who appeared in one concert scene and had no purpose to the plot). Mercutio is a black Drag Queen in the Baz Luhrmann film of Romeo & Juliet. Also a case of Black Dude Dies First. Rochelle in The Craft, the only black girl of the four member witches' Coven, not that it make her more sympathetic than the rest at the end though. Both versions of Stephen King's It, the Made-for-TV Movie It (1990) and the theatrical It (2017) have the character of Mike, the only African-American kid of the Losers' Club, who is also in the novel. Literature The Animorphs series was actually pretty groundbreaking in its handling of minorities. In the '90's, it was extremely unusual for a middle-grade novel to have a minority protagonist at all, let alone four of them. (Rachel and Jake were Jewish, Cassie was black, and Marco was hispanic). It also got away with discussing prejudice a few times, a biracial relationship (and it was even acknowledged a couple times), and a little racism portrayed when the ultimate message wasn't about the evils or racism (specifically, the society at the beginning of the third Megamorphs, and the racist guy Cassie meets when she travels through time). They even acknowledged the existence of gay people, which was almost never done. Oh, and there were two female protagonists, and they weren't treated any differently than the males in terms of their ability to kick ass, making the series one of the first middle-grade series to have a cross-gender appeal. All in all, it was one of the most inclusive series of its day. And in later books, K. A. Applegate proved even more that she was dedicated to diversity without stereotypes. One of those later books was the Remnants series, which had several black, Hispanic, and Asian characters, a character who had a messed up face because it was burned in a fire (2Face), and Noyze, who grew up deaf. They even tried to put a lesbian in this kids series from 2001, but sadly, it didn't quite work as planned. Invoked in a short story "Papanin's Mauser" by Michael Veller. It depicts a drift-ice research unit of four people. Three of them are Russians and Communists and the last one is a nonpartisan German. According to the Soviet laws three Communists is enough to constitute a Party cell, so every day they have to conduct a Party meeting, for members only. During these meetings the German has to leave the "meeting room", that is the tent where they all live and spend time tramping around it in the bone-chilling cold. Eventually he applies for membership in the Party to end this nightmare but is rejected on the following ground: as he is he symbolizes the international nature of the Soviet people and the unbreakable ties between partisans and nonpartisans. Jessi (black), Claudia (Asian), and Abby (Jewish) in The Baby-Sitters Club. Lheorvine is the only black man in Black Legion, and one of precious few in Warhammer 40,000. Before Matt Ward retconned their dark skin into a "mutation" the Salamanders space marines, and the people of their homeworld, Nocturne, were an entire planet of token blacks. Post-Ward, it's assumed that the denizens of Nocturne are white, but "turn black" when they become Salamanders. In How to Build a Skydeck, fish-out-of-water protagonist Stan realizes that all his co-workers avoid him for being a Token Minority. Specifically, being the only white guy on the construction crew. Lord Wulfston in The Savage Empire books by Jean Lorrah is the only black person we see in the first five books or so. On the other hand, nobody makes a big deal about it; he just has a hard time being anonymous. Harry Potter's school Hogwarts has a few, including the very Irish Seamus Finnegan (although there may be others who are less obvious), the Indian Patil twins, the Jewish Anthony Goldstein, the Chinese Cho Chang, and the black Dean Thomas, Lee Jordan, Angelina Johnson, and Blaise Zabini. To Mrs. Rowling's credit, no ado is made of any diversity quota set forth by company policy. Big Mike makes it clear the moment he finds another Hispanic nerd to do his job, Morgan is gone. Mixed-race Angel Coulby was the result of Ability over Appearance when it came to casting her as Guinevere on Merlin, and to their credit, the producers have never once defended or explained this decision beyond saying that she was the best for the role. However, one can't help but feel that the later inclusion of Gwen's brother Elyan was the result of this trope: he's the only black knight of the Round Table and doesn't really get to do much. His death, which seemed to only serve as an excuse for people to brush off Gwen's post-brainwashing strangeness, was far from encouraging. After Gwen returned to normal, he was forgotten. JAG had a few minorities represented in lead and recurring characters: Major/Lieutenant Colonel Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie is multiracial (WhiteIranianCherokee), Commander Sturgis Turner and Congresswoman Bobbi Latham are African Americans, Gunnery Sergeant Victor Galindez is Latino and Harmon Rabb has a Russian half-brother. Mac's background is close to that of her actress, Catherine Bell. She was born in London to a Scottish father and Iranian mother. Leon from NCIS was one of the first recurring black characters - introduced in season five - though his race is rarely ever mentioned, and Agent Dorneget (a minor character introduced in season nine) is the only recurring gay character. Australian soaps tend to be about middle-class white people, and usually don't even bother to include a significant Token Minority character - Home And Away did have the Samoan Australian actor Jai Laga'aia's character, although the moment another non-white actor got a part Lagai'a was fired. Neighbours is a little less closed-off, having allowed an Indian Australian family, the Kapoors, to join the main cast. Invoked in-universe on Suits where Jessica Pearson's backstory reveals that she was originally hired by the law firm because she was a black woman and the firm decided it needed "diversity". She was initially told that she was hired strictly on merit but later saw a working memo which specifically had "diversity" written next to her name. What really pissed her off was the fact that the memo did not mention her being a top-of-her-class Harvard graduate or her work at the Harvard Law Review, which should have made her one of the top candidates for the job no matter what her race or gender is. She got even by rising through the firms ranks and then ousting the managing partner who wrote the memo. Habib (Asian and Muslim) and Gladstone (black Caribbean) on The Thin Blue Line. Of course, this is modern day London, so an ethnically diverse workplace makes sense. Fresh Off the Boat: Invoked; at one point Eddie Huang (the new kid) gets into a scuffle with an African-American kid who says that Eddie's the new token minority. On The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, every season will typically have one or two minority contestants who never win and rarely even get close to winning. These contestants also frequently fall into But Not Too Black. Lampshaded on Community (which actually did have a very diverse cast). Elroy Patashnik was introduced in Season 6 after Troy and Shirley, the series' other two major black characters, had both departed the show. One episode had a scene where he addressed his status as the sole black member of the group and stated that he would not allow himself to be treated like a token, saying "I'm nobody's fourth Ghostbuster." Parodied and enforced in the Key & Peele sketch "A Cappella," where the token black member of the otherwise all-white a cappella group treats a second black member joining as if his country was being invaded. The Good Wife had Kalinda Sharma (her ethnicity is never especified but is assume to be Indian or Persian) from season 1-6, later African-American Lucca Quinn became the Token Minority and also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute. Almost every team of Power Rangers consists of three white people (one of whom is also possibly Latino) and one black person and one person of Asian descent to form the token minorities. Human Aliens occasionally appear on teams as well. This multiracial team lineup also seems to apply to the non-human Alien Rangers of Aquitar, which includes the black Aquitian Blue Alien Ranger Cestro. Teal'c in Stargate SG-1, who, as well as being the token black guy, is also the token alien of the titular flagship off-world reconnaissance team SG-1. In the fifth episode of the first season, one of the first signs that the team have brought a highly contagious infection back from another world is an unprovoked assault on Teal'c, which, perhaps for the sake of not appearing racially aggravated, is instigated by another black man. Lampshaded in Jason King. King is adapting one of his adventures for a TV series. The television executive insists that the hero should have a sidekick, who is first portrayed as a white guy, only to change to a black guy to go with the latest trend, then ending up with an Asian guy to get a wider potential audience. Saved by the Bell has Lisa (played by Lark Voorhies), the Black Princess of the group and Slater (played by Mario Lopez) the Hispanic. How stereotypical they are depends on the episode, but according to the producers their characters were of no specific race and they were cast just because they were the best. They ethnicity does comes into play in some Very Special Episodes. American Horror Story: Coven has Queenie the only African American witch in the Institute, which became an important plot point when she begin contacts with other Black witches. Also Nan is a witch with Down Syndrome. Legend of the Seeker'': Chase is portrayed by a Maori actor, along with his family and many minor characters. On a lesser note, we see a single black Mord'Sith, and one played by mixed race actress Katrina Law, the rest being white (in the books, they all were). Lucas Sinclair in Stranger Things is the only Black character of the entire main cast. The show is Genre Savvy enough to lampshade this hillariously some times, like when the four main kid characters dress as Ghostbusters and he argues that the doesn't want to be Winston. Although only a recurrent character, Griff in Married... with Children played the part of Black Best Friend of Al, he even lampshade this in some episodes as when he objects to go firsts into dangerous situations because Black Dude Dies First. Another recurrent Black character is Corrupt Cop Officer Dan, who was member of mostly white NO'MAAM club. In an overwhelming Caucasian cast as Beverly Hills, 90210, Silver is Ambiguously Jewish. Sons of Anarchy deals with fictionalized versions of outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, most of the clubs are ethnically-exclusive in Real Life and the most they tend to mix is that those that are not White-supremacists or Black, admit White and Hispanics (case of Hell's Angels, which is the club the Sons are based on). On that note, Juan Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz is the only Latino character among the main cast and in the chapter of the city of Charming (that also happens to be the international headquarters). As sexual minorities go, Alex "Tig" Trager is bisexual (he starts a relationship with a transgender person). Near the end of the series they open the club to Black members. Veronica Mars has two examples: Veronica's best friend Wallace, who is Black, and biker allied Eli "Weevil" Navarro, who is Latino. Music Poor Niall Horan of One Direction. Simply known as "The Irish One" by non-directorners. He's also the only blond. Mel B from Spice Girls is the only non-white Spice Girl (although technically she is mixed-race). Mythology & Religion In Books of Samuel, Uriah is a Hittite resided in Israel, which was considered as an ethnic minority in Israel back then. However, he's not among the gentiles as he followed the Israelite belief, which is a requirement for him to marry Bathsheba, an Israelite herself in the first place. He also genuinely cares about his subordinate and refused to have sex with his wife while a war was going on, despite royal orders, because he didn't want to accept privileges that his men weren't being allowed. And after his death, Prophet Nathan promptly calls David out for inventing the Uriah Gambit. Balthasar, one of the threenoteWho, by the way, are neither named nor numbered in the Bible: it is only a mediaeval tradition that there were three or that their names were as here plus Caspar. Wise Men, has been depicted as black since Medieval times. Melchior is sometimes depicted as Asian as well, so the Wise Men represent the three continents of the Medieval world: Europe, Asia, and Africa. One researcher has found references in an ancient manuscript saying that the Magi came from a country called Shir, which was in the far east, bordered an ocean, and produced silk. The Magi might have actually been Chinese, or perhaps Persian. Newspaper Comics Peanuts: Even wasn't immune. Franklin joined the cast in a nod to the court-ordered busing that was going on at the time. As Chris Rock points out, he was the only one in the cast without any distinct personality. In one interview, Schulz admitted that he really didn't know what to do with Franklin, since he had no experience with black children. Ironically, the producers of one of the Peanuts animated specials found a role for Franklin here. Amusingly, cartoonists of Schulz's generation were not taught how to draw black characters without making them look like grotesque stereotypes, so for Franklin, Schulz just drew a "white" kid and then gave him curly black hair and lines across his face to symbolize dark skin. Snoopy's Beagle Scouts are a group of birds consisting of Woodstock and birds who are identical to Woodstock... except for the one called Raymond, who is noticeably darker than his peers. Monica's Gang had a few. The main gang had a black and a mute (who has been described as deaf as well), then added one that due to his inspiration (the creator's son) is ambiguously Asian, and both a blind girl and a wheelchair bound boy as well. The gang in a country setting has among its hillbillies an Asian (a nod to the the huge Japanese-descent community). Print Media MAD magazine referenced the trope back in 1966 (issue 101). In a parody of the movie The Sandpiper, a character refers to himself as the film's "token Negro". It was a long time ago indeed. Pro Wrestling Of the foreigners who came into FMW for Texas Street Fight, Sweet Georgia Brown became this among the FMW women's division. She spent an even longer time as the black one of the WWF's women's division until Jazz debuted. Black Warrior, the lone Mexican of the Japanese anti Mexican La Ola Amarilla Power Stable that periodically invaded CMLL between 2005 and 2013. He served as the group's Translator Buddy. Kenny King in the Full Impact Pro Power Stable Young Rich And Ready For Action. Kenny could be considered one of the "main" members, mostly by virtue of representing the group in Ring of Honor but nonetheless the rest (Jason Blade, Portia Perez, Claudio Castagnoli, The Lovely Lacey, Sal Rinauro, Radiant Rain, Daffney, Steve Madison, Becky Bayless, Chasyn Rance, SoCal Val, etc) were all white. Around 2010, the WWE Divas were sadly falling into this. Each brand had one (and in many cases, ONLY one) member of each minority group amidst the sea of blond hair on the rest of the roster. On Raw, as seen by the Fatal 4-Way Divas match, there was the white Maryse, black Alicia Fox, Asian Gail Kim, and Latina Eve Torres (although the then-recently-returning Melina shook that up, and with the Bella Twins, it appears that Latinas have become something of the majority on Raw.) On SmackDown, it doesn't even go that far. There's the British/Moroccan Layla who seems to be filling in for black despite being paler than some of the more tan-addicted Divas and the Latino Rosa Mendes, that's it. However, after the "Brand Extension" was first ditched in 2011, the "one diva per group" rule was been gradually averted. As of January 2018, following a second brand split, the ethnicities of the WWE women's roster are now pretty much downplayed. Just for completeness' sake, here's the rundown: White Alexa Bliss (blonde), Bayley (brunette), Becky Lynch (redhead), Carmella (blonde), Charlotte Flair (blonde), Dana Brooke (blonde), Lana (blonde), Liv Morgan (blonde), Maryse (blonde), Mickie James (brunette), Natalya (blonde), Paige (brunette), Ruby Riott (brunette), Sarah Logan (dark blonde). Ronda Rousey (brunette) has signed with WWE, but has not yet been put on the main roster. Black Alicia Fox, Naomi, Sasha Banks Latina Brie and Nikki Bella (half-Mexican, half-Italian) Asian Asuka Pacific Islander Nia Jax (half-Samoan, half-German), Tamina Snuka (half-Fijian, half-Samoan)noteher father Jimmy Snuka was Fijian but married into the Samoan Anoa'i family Concerning SHINE Power Stable Las Sicarias, it is easy to forget Amanda Rodriguez is "The Peruvian Princess" when every other member (Ivelisse Vlez, La Rosa Negra, Thea Trinidad, Mercedes Martinez) is Puerto Rican and 3/4ths of them are loud about it. Jonathan Gresham in Search And Destroy, although this wasn't by design so much as circumstance. One other did briefly make it to TV, but Lio Rush was Put on a Bus due to an attack from Shane Taylor of The Rebellion. Puppet Shows Lieutenant Green token black of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. The show also counts a Japanese and a black amongst its minor characters. Sport Manchester United have a large Asian fanbase and seem to ensure that they always have at least one Asian player in the squad, presumably to appeal to Asian fans: Park Ji-Sung (Korean, 2005-12) Shinji Kagawa (Japanese, 2012 - 2014) Tabletop Games In Privateer Press' tabletop war game WARMACHINE, Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane is the game's only black warcaster. Before the release of the expansion book Pirates of the Broken Coast, he was the only black model in the game. Siege came out in Apotheosis, the third expansion of the game. Theatre Hamilton: Inverted with the original Broadway cast, in which the only white character in the main cast apart from the actor playing King George III was Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington. Toys Kimono from My Little Pony G3 is Japanese, as shown by her name and her occasional kimono wearing in the books. There's also Fiesta Flair, whose toy was actually cancelled for what fans speculate was due to being too stereotypically Mexican. Video Games Pokmon: There's the boss of the main character in Pokmon Ranger 2, and a Boisterous Bruiser as well as Da Chief. There was a young dark-skinned girl standing in the player's hometown in FireRed/LeafGreen. But the sprite for this girl doesn't appear anywhere else in the entire game. Pheobe, who showed up in Pokmon Ruby and Sapphire, is implied to be the Poke-verse's equivalent of Pacific Islander. Pokmon Sun and Moon later introduced a Hawaii-based region called "Alola". In Pokmon Diamond and Pearl, they did add another token minority, a Frontier Brain named Dahlia who is ambiguously latina. In Pokmon Black and White, minor NPCs of varying skin tone are common, and two noteIris's skin tone is Ambiguously Brown in the games and anime, though Sugimori's original art is darker skinned than her sprite and anime counterpart gym leaders are black. Granted, one can't help but slightly cringe that in Pokmon Black and White 2, the basketball team are the first black people you come across. At the very least, they provide the first truly challenging duels for the player. Averted in Pokmon X and Y - Not only do you have the option to customize the character's skin tone, but the player encounters a fair number of Ambiguously Brown and even black trainers (more than previous games). Nobody treats them any differently. That said, of the main characters Shauna is the only non-white one (unless your protagonist is brown). Grand Theft Auto IV had an ad for Weazel News, an Expy of the Fox News Channel, that parodied the use of token minorities on TV news programs. The voiceover for the ad explicitly mentioned the "diverse" news team as proof that they weren't racist, and when the Asian reporter was listed, an oriental gong sound was clearly audible. Harsher in Hindsight since correspondent Jesse Watters filmed this segment for the The O'Reilly Factor in 2016. Louis in Left 4 Dead is considered the game's token black guy. Veteran Bill is the token old guy, and Zoey is the token girl. Young white male biker Francis is the least mentally stable of the four, and some Fanon says he's gay. In Team Fortress 2, several of the classes are represented as clearly being of a certain nationality. The Demoman represents Scotland, however he is also the only black man in the game. He is also a drunk and a "cyclops", making him a "Threefer." The Team Fortress 2 team stated in their blog (providing some early concept art) that the Demoman was going to be a redheaded white guy, making him look more like the stereotypical Scot. Instead, they decided that he looked too much like Groundskeeper Willie, so they made him black. So this probably isn't a case of tokenism, but an attempt to break a stereotype. A better example might be the continuous hints of Pyro being the lone female class. The 'aggressive black Scotsman' with an absurdly broad accent is a stereotype of its own in the UK. Lampshaded in his intro video on the official site: Demoman: I'm a black Scottish cyclops! They've got more f-[extended censorship bleep] than thy do the likes of me! Ironically, it appears that in the world of Team Fortress 2, there is in fact a clan of black Scottish demolitions experts... but the Demoman is unusual in that he still has one of his eyes. In [PROTOTYPE], Dr. Ragland is the only black character of plot significance. Particularly egregious considering the game takes place in New York City. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has Devdan, the only black guy in the game. Sequel Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn adds Ambiguously Brown Fiona. The Final Fantasy series has two examples. General Leo Christophe from Final Fantasy VI and Barret Wallace from Final Fantasy VII. The latter was played perfectly straight amongst the heroes. Paradoxically, it wasn't done for the feelings of the fans, or for racial diversit. General Leo, however, is a slight inversion because the sprite has the same skin tone as the rest of the characters, while his art has a notably darker skin tone. Sazh Katzroy from Final Fantasy XIII is the token black guy. In Romancing SaGa 3, Harid "El Nool" Tornado is the lone black character you can choose. He's a mercenary Averted in the PC FPS Ethnic Cleansing, where almost all characters are of non-white races, save for the protagonist and few NPCs. The reason for this, as the name implies, is quite nefarious. Of the four player characters in the Konami arcade shoot-'em-up Sunset Riders, Cormano is the only Mexican. The other three are blond white cowboys. Sig in Jak and Daxter is apparently the only black guy on the entire freakin' planet, including the NPCs that just wander around. Chains from Payday The Heist is the team black guy. Bully each clique will have a girl, a black boy and a bisexual boy. The nerds clique have a Twofer Token Minority Black Bisexual Nerdy boy. Mass Effect: Mass Effect has an interesting take on this. While the crew of the Normandy consists mainly of humans with only one member of various other species present (one asari, one turian, etc.), those species are so common throughout the galaxy that most of your NPC interactions involve them. Tali'Zorah Nar Rayya, on the other hand, is the only quarian in the entire game, making her your token minority team member. She's also a Space Gypsy, making her and anyone of her race a barely tolerated outcast everywhere outside their fleet. Mass Effect 2 gives a double subversion, since Shepard's field mission squad consist of only three humans and seven aliens of different races, but when it comes to the human crew on Normandy SR-2, Jacob Taylor is the only black man on the whole ship, until you download the DLC and thus you have Token Minorities within token minorities. In the humans, you have an Australian (Miranda), a Canadian (Shepard, both sexes), an American (Jacob), a Brit (Zaeed), and a Japanese Genki Girl (Kasumi). Anthony Higgs of Metroid: Other M; he's the first major black character; there were a few black people on the Valhalla (key word being "few"). He's also the only supporting character who survives to the end of the game. In Night Trap, SCAT has both a token black guy and a token woman (if you don't count Kelly). In Silent Hill 4: The Room, Cynthia Velasquez, a Latina, is the only minority character, and also the first to die. Snake's Revenge has Nick Meyer, the only African-American in Snake's crew. The Persona series tends to have this, given its explicitly Japanese setting: Persona 2 has party member Lisa Silverman, the daughter of two white Americans. That said, she's been raised in Japan her entire life, cannot speak English, and her parents are extreme Japanophiles who desire her to behave like a traditional Japanese girl, much to her chagrin. There's also a minor character named Tony who goes around and takes lewd photos of women. Persona 3 has "Bebe", a French foreign exchange student and Japanophile, as your Temperance Arcana Social Link. Persona 5 has party member Ann Takamaki, a quarter-white girl who lived overseas for sometime before coming back to Japan. Her foreign background makes her the subject of numerous malicious rumors at her school, which is not helped by the volleyball coach treating her as an exotic Lust Object. The Elder Scrolls: In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there are exactly three non-Imperials among the nobles of Cyrodiil: Count Andel Indarys of Cheydinhal, a dark elf who is accused of having gotten his position via nepotism (he's supposedly friends with King Helseth of Morrowind); Andel's son Farwil, who is an idiot; and Imperial Battlemage Ocato, a high elf who only even appears twice. Note that it is made quite clear in books and dialogue (before, during and after Oblivion) and in a later game with an appearance that there are more non-Imperial nobles in Cyrodiil. It's just that the Elder Council is conspicuously missing from their meeting hall every time we go there in Oblivion. The "Hearthfire" DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adds a Redguard housecarl, Rayya. The rest of the housecarls are Nords. The story of Temple Run seems to be taking place in Asia (judging from the architecture and rainforest), but all characters but one is western. The one non-western character is Asian. Her name? "Karma Lee". The western characters are either white or afro-american. The white characters are explorers and escape artists and similar stuff that fit the setting, while the black characters have concepts such as football star - making one wonder how he ended up in an ancient Asian temple in the first place. The Rehda in Ys: The Ark of Napishtim are culturally reminiscent of Native Americans, although their chief, Ord, talks like an Afro-American in the English dub. Played straight and averted with Neverwinter Nights 1. Played straight with the Original Campaign and the NPC, Aarin Gend, but can be averted by module builders and players since both NPCs and player characters can have skin color matching anything in the game palette (including but not limited to green, blue, purple, yellow, gold, orange, red, mirror(!) and either solid flat white or solid flat black). In Killer Bear, the titular killer refers to Tracy as "the token black girl." Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. was criticized for introducing several token minority characters. The one that got most attention was Mizhena, a female in which, upon first meeting her in the game, when you choose certain dialogue options about how she got her name, reveals that she's a transgender. She does this before providing little else in the context of the game. In StarCraft, the only black fellow in the entire Colonial/UED Marine Corps drives the SCV. I get that Terrans are space hillbillies, but wow... Ace Combat series' Constructed World of Strangereal seems to have no equivalent of Africa or East Asia, yet some token characters obviously representing those regions' ethnic groups come included: The most egregious case is the Series Mascot Kei Nagase, who has appeared in some form (i.e. as one of mostly unrelated women who just happen to have exact same name, looks, and similar personalities) in Ace Combat 2/Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy , Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War despite being the only apparently-Japanese person in world where no Japan exists (she also pops up in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat Infinity but those are set on alternate Earths, making her appearance more plausible, if still token). As noted, no equivalent of Africa exists in Strangereal, so Keith Bryan from Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere and Marcus Snow from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War seem to be the only black guys in the world so far. Harvest Moon occasionally has a few. For example, Harvest Moon 64 has a black fisherman and Ambiguously Brown Kai in a town full of mainly white (and a few Asian) people while Story of Seasons introduced the first explicitly gay character in the series. Body Blows: The British boxer Junior is the only black guy among the human characters. Though Junior does make up for this somewhat as being a prominent character in that he is one of the only two characters to be in all of the games of the series. Web Comics Alice in the Loserz strip. As she says in one strip, one of the few black kids in school. The character of Kay Wheeler in Misfile exists solely to try and crack open Emily's Transparent Closet. Missi Fuller's ethnicity, while lampshaded in her intro comic, serves no plot purpose other than to bring a bit of variety to the cast and the sole black character who's particularly recurring, Eponine, only in later times started getting attention. Grace and Nanase in El Goonish Shive. Sort of. Sensei Greg too, but he's become a Brother Chuck. And Nanase doesn't even look very Japanese. Clark is probably this in Shape Quest. Subnormality: Lets not forget to always give them One Award. Homestuck: The Webcomic within the MS Paint Adventure Homestuck, Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff has the most pointless of Token Minority characters with Geromy. Introduced as "The new friend", he has never moved, spoken, or been aknowledged by another character. He's even called the token black friend in the theme song! Amusingly enough, he is actually the third black character introduced after Barack Obana and The Big Man, with both actually having at least a minimum of a role in the comics. Interestingly, in Homestuck itself, Word of God has given a similar, though less cynical, rationale for having Jade, Nepeta, and Equius be furries. Hilariously subverted in Errant Story by Bani, who's well aware of her status and doesn't want to become the black dude who dies first. Axe Cop does it with as crazy a twist as everything else: When asked whether there will be "members of other races" in Axe Cop's team, they introduce a merman team member. Parodied in a Shortpacked! strip dealing with the controversy around Michael B. Jordan being approached to play the Human Torch. An irate comic fan complains to Jacob about this development and states that this would likely make the Invisible Woman (Torch's sister) black as well, and when Jacob doesn't see a problem with this, the fanboy responds by claiming that having two black people in the cast would be "unrealistic". The fanboy then runs off screaming when Lucy, the strip's other major black character, shows up. Web Original Satirized by The Onion, after the embarrassing event of University of Wisconsin-Madison (see Advertising folder). Invoked/parodied in the third episode of Corrupting the Classics with Contemporary Crap. "Project Playwright" has five contestants: David Mamet, Harold Pinter, Anton Chekhov, Nol Coward, and For Colored Girls author Ntozake Shange. Celebrity judge Oscar Wilde implies that Shange is only there because she is a black female, which Shange doesn't take kindly to. Hilarity Ensues. The Channel Awesome sites: Krissy Diggs, a.k.a. That Chick With The Goggles, was the only black person on any of the sites (doesn't help that her video postings are extremely sporadic). That is until The Rap Critic was added. Krissy is now (as of January 2011) off the site, leaving Rap Critic as the Token Black. Angry Joe was the only Hispanic member as well, and Benzaie is the only open bisexual. He's now joined in the Hispanic representation by The Blockbuster Buster. Ma-Ti, the only non-white hero in Suburban Knights. The Gaming Pixie and Mike Maverick are the only two black people on Reviewers Unknown. Inverted in Funday Night Gaming's cast, as all but one of the main cast is gay. Achievement Hunter had Ray Narvaez Jr. as the only Hispanic member, being of Puerto Rican descent. Lindsay Jones (ne Tuggey) is the only woman who commonly appears on camera and for awhile was the only woman in Achievement Hunter, but they have since added Steffie as an off-camera helper. There's also the very British Gavin Free. The Ultimate Sidemen have Vikram Barn (Vikkstar123) as their only member who is neither white or black; he is of Indian descent. Vik is also the only member in the group who does not play FIFA on a regular basis; it's Minecraft and Call of Duty for him. DC Superhero Girls has Bumblebee (who is black) and Katana (who is Japanese) as the two non-white main characters. Western Animation Parodied in Token Black (formerly named Token Williams), the only black kid in South Park. Part of the joke is that all the other characters think he's the token rich character the only one to regularly call attention to Token's blackness is Cartman, who has been shown in other contexts to be quite racist. And his parents own the Hooters expy restaurant Raisins. Which is done as a deliberate subversion of this trope. For some reason, the Vampire kids have one Angry Black Man among their group, which leaves the goth kids slightly confused. Superfriends was notorious for that kind of character, with a bunch of obviously non-white superheroes; Apache Chief (Native North America), Black Vulcan (Black), Samurai (Asian) and El Dorado (Latin American). The final season tried to address the black issue by replacing Black Vulcan with Cyborg of the Teen Titans, a character that Marv Wolfman and George Perez worked hard to create as a legitimate original character. Justice League: John Stewart, the black Green Lantern. Less "token" because not only does he have the same nom de guerre as a major member of the original team, but he has worked with the League in a number of stories in the comics when he was Hal Jordan's backup, thus giving the character's inclusion some credibility. Furthermore, in the Unlimited phase of the series, the producers strove to dilute the issue by bringing in many of DC's other minority superheroes like Mr. Terrific, Vixen, Steel and Doctor Light. Note that, save for Batman and Superman, both of whom had a previous series unto themselves in the DCAU, John Stewart is the most featured character in the DCAU, having the most Limelight episodes on Justice League and getting a good amount of plot in Justice League Unlimited. In addition, the second season of Unlimited featured the Ultimen, straight (and far better done) versions of many of the Superfriends token characters. Shayera Hol (Hawkgirl), from the planet Thanagar, was deliberately given a Hispanic voice actor as well. Out of the Original Seven, Batman is the only one without super powers. But who needs that when he's Batman? Superman is Kryptonian, Martian Manhunter is Martian, Hawkgirl is Thanagarian, Wonder Woman is Themysciran. The only people who aren't minorities on the team are Batman and Flash. Superman: The Animated Series had Angela Chen, who was essentially a race-swapped version of Cat Grant from the comics, right down to being a catty gossip columnist and Lois Lane's rival at the Daily Planet. Beware the Batman looked to be doing this by using Katana as Batman's sidekick instead of Robin or Batgirl. Noticeable in that she was explicitly touted as "the new Robin" in press releases. Seeing how the show was canned after a mere 26 episodes, forbidden from being aired after September 28, 2014, and written off by the company we will never know. In order to have some racial diversity in the cast of Bionic Six (despite the main characters all being related), the Bennetts were given two adopted sons who were African American and Japanese respectively. Clerks: The Animated Series also added a token minority, Lando (named for the only person of color in the original Star Wars trilogy), who rarely did anything other than show up to showcase his non-whiteness. This was expressly parodying this trope, however. Black Johnathan Reed in Davey and Goliath was added by the Lutheran Church to make the series more diverse in post Civil Rights 1970s America, followed by the Hispanic Cisco, Mr. Lee, an Asian barber, and George Soaring Eagle, a boy of Native American descent, to name a few. The Extreme Ghostbusters team was compiled of all minorities. Roland a black man, Eduardo a Hispanic, Garrett a white guy in a wheel chair and Kylie a "Goth" chick. Egon was the only non-minority but he didn't always go out with the team, but held a figure head position. Their receptionist, Janine Melnitz is Ambiguously Jewish (considering her last name). The original animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, had the movie version of the team so there is only a token black guy instead of a whole token team. Also parodied in Family Guy, in which the TV newscast's (a Show Within a Show) on-site reporter is consistently referred to by the anchors as "Asian Reporter Trisha Takanawa." One episode also introduced us to "Hispanic Reporter Renee Jimenez." Interestingly, though, she's depicted as an otherwise baseline white woman who speaks with a slight Spanish accent. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.... And then there's Cleveland Brown, the token black guy who in the later seasons becomes a portmanteau for black stereotypes that had nothing to do with his established personality. And you can't bring up minorities on the newscast team without talking about "Blackuweather forecaster Ollie Williams." Another episode, perhaps unintentionally, provided an explanation: most black residents of Quahog are disguised as whites to avoid police harassment. One example when Cleveland is in the golf course the second time with a Richard Nixon mask. Another parody in Futurama, where the characters sometimes watch the soap "All My Circuits", which features a cast of robots and a single token human. Fry: What's he do? Bender: Eh, the usual human stuff. He laughs, he learns, he loves. Fry: Boring! In Daria, Jodie Landon and Mack Mackenzie seem to be the only black students at Lawndale High, and they are apparently the only people (other than possibly Andrea) who Daria and Jane respect in that school. Jodie and Mack are painfully aware of their status and are uncomfortable being effectively examples of their race; for instance, Jodie complains how she has to be "Queen of the Negroes" at school. This includes when they were dubbed school parade King and Queen consecutively over multiple years, which they suspect is possibly in part because it disguise how little real diversity there is at the school. However, Jodie notices a little black girl looking awestruck at her being so honored, and decides she can put up with it for the greater good of inspiring other minority kids to dream. On the other hand, Jodie's parents are a pair of jerks, Tiffany of the Fashion Club is an Asian Airhead, and the school's principal, Angela Li (also Asian ethnicity) is a strutting self-important dictator. Spyke in X-Men: Evolution is not only the token black member of the team, he's related to the only other black person in the cast. Spyke was so unpopular that he was written out of the series and made to live in the sewer (no, really). His eventual guest-star role as a vigilante was more well-received by the show's fans than his entire run as a cast member. By that time they had balanced things out a bit by adding a few other minority kids to the cast, notably Sunspot (Afro-Brazilian), Magma (Race Lifted into a dark-skinned Brazilian) and Jubilee (Chinese-American). Though of course Jubilee herself was also Put on a Bus until the finale. Transformers Armada had token Hispanic Carlos. The fact that his catchphrase was "holy frijoles" should tell you how badly that turned out. Alexis was also supposedly Vietnamese, according to Word of God. Uh huh. Animaniacs has Dr. Scratchansniff who is German, The Goodfeathers who are Italian and Flavio and Marita who are Spanish. Averted amongst the humans in Transformers Animated, where there are a number of prominent nonwhite characters. However, it's notable that when the Autobots turn human in "Human Error", there's one black kid - and it's Bumblebee. This is because of the voice actors - Bumblebee is the only main-cast Autobot with a black voice actor (Bumper Robinson). The children's television series Dragon Tales has a dragon in a wheelchair, he can't fly either. Most of the plot of the episode where Lorca is introduced, "A New Friend", hinges on this. John Thunder, the Native American member of the Centurions. Maybe one of the best out there. Orange Blossom and Ginger Snap of Strawberry Shortcake, though later seasons introduce more characters. Doozy Bots, the attempt to adapt Gundam to American audiences in the early 90s (That thankfully never got past a short 5 minute preview video) featured the Black Kid of the gang who also happened to be in a wheelchair. To make matters worse (or funnier, depending on how you see it) when the main characters all transform into the eponymous super-deformed chibi Gundams/Mobile Suits, he gets stuck being the Guntank - which is the top half of a Mobile Suit attached to a set of tank treads. In Teen Titans there is Cyborg as the only African-American in the team and Robin who is Romani even though he looks white. Raven is an apparently white Half-Human Hybrid and the other two have orange and green skin (though Beast Boy was born white before turning green). Herald and Bumblebee are black while Mas y Mens are Hispanic. The Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" mentions "Token black panelist, Drederick Tatum!" Subverted in Mucha Lucha!, where the whole main trio is non-white. Rikochet is somewhat dark-skinned, and Buena Girl and Flea's skin looks sort of Mest Indian. However, many secondary characters are white. The show is set in Mexico (or at least a Mexican-American community), where everyone is perceived to be "foreign" and "exotic" in some way. Phineas and Ferb: Baljeet is Indian, the Fireside Girl Holly is African-American, Stacy and the Fireside Girl Ginger are Asian, and Buford seems to have some kind of Dutch heritage. The show in general obviously tries to be very cosmopolitic. Isabella Garcia-Shapiro is Mexican (ethnic minority) and Jewish (religious minority) so she's both this trope and Twofer Token Minority. Though one episode has the cast visiting the "Mexican Jewish Cultural Festival" so Danville might just have a particularly large population of Mexican-Jews... The Famous Five were reimagined for a Disney cartoon series, starring the children of the original Five. George's daughter Jo (Jyoti) is half-Indian. Compare the extremely white originals with the next generation. Frosty the Snowman: Sarah from The Legend Of Frosty The Snowman is African. Mostly averted in Challenge Of The Go Bots, where A.J. and General Newcastle are both black, and Anya Turgonova is Russo-Chinese. Anya didn't show up as often after the Five-Episode Pilot, but A.J. was a main character and Newcastle was the most important human supporting character. Spoofed in the Robot Chicken sketch 12 Angry Little People, when the lone black juror points out that not every black person needs to be a positive role model. The whole main cast of The Weekenders. Though Tino's race isn't mentioned, Word of God states hes Italian American who is probably Pagan. Lor's Scottish American, Carvers African American and Tish is an Eastern European Jew. Averted in Young Justice. As of the end of season one, four of the core cast members are people of color (Aqualad and Rocket are both black, Robin is Romani, while Artemis is half-white and half-Vietnamese). In season two, Blue Beetle (Mexican American), Bumblebee and Mal Duncan (both African American) join the team as well. While they don't join the team, that season also adds recurring characters Virgil Hawkins (African American), Ed Dorado (Latino), Asami Koizumi (Japanese), and Tye Longshadow (Apache). Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats was black. Of course, she was this in the comic book beforehand. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has Black Panther, an African king who's proven himself a very competent fighter and quite knowledgeable about science and magic. However, he sometimes goes whole episodes without saying anything. Some unused production art shows that at some point before the series finally aired, Black Goliath was apparently supposed to take Giant-Man's spot on the team. The short-lived The Avengers: United They Stand had Falcon as the sole minority member of the team. Somewhat funny since in the comics, Falcon was added to the team to fill a diversity quota and quit when he decided he didn't want to be included simply for being black. Perhaps in response some of the complaints about the racial and gender disparity in the live-action movie, Avengers, Assemble! has The Falcon added to the film's Avengers roster, making him the sole person of color. However, he has a very large role in the show, and is the Audience Surrogate of the team. Jonny from Ed, Edd n Eddy is implied to be black. Rolf may count, as he's Ambiguously Brown. Mee Mee and Lee Lee (Dee Dee's friends) in Dexter's Laboratory are black and Asian respectively. They might even be a light parody of this trope. Freight Train from Where's Huddles?. The only non-white Color Kid from Rainbow Brite is Indigo. She is Indian. Everyone in Bertha is white, except for the Indian Panjid. Plastic Man's sidekick Hula Hula in The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show is Polynesian, whilst Plastic Man and his girlfriend Penny are white. Elena of Avalor: Elena's best friend Naomi Turner, a pale, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl with an English name in the Spanish-style Kingdom of Avalor; almost everyone else is dark-haired and tan. The Loud House has Lincoln and his family being white except for Lucy who has pale skin resembling a light shade of gray, Clyde being black with a black dad and a white dad, and of course, the Casagrandes as a Hispanic family with CJ having Down Syndrome. Token Non-Mammal Examples: Animated Film Jiminy Cricket and Cleo the goldfish from Disney's Pinocchio Abigail, Amelia, and their uncle Waldo (three geese) from The Aristocats Verne the turtle on Over the Hedge. Inverted in Rango, where most of the inhabitants of Dirt seem to be anything but mammals. Literature Lowly Worm from Richard Scarry's books. Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows Toys The Fabuland toy line by LEGO only had one crocodile and three birds among an otherwise all-mammal cast. My Little Pony: G1 had every princess with their own pet baby dragon: Spike, Prickles, Smokey, Fiery, Flash, Spiny, and Sparks. Majesty's dragon, Spike, is the most famous due to his use in adaptations such as the My Little Pony TV Specials, My Little Pony 'n Friends, and the British My Little Pony comics. Most of the dragons were scrapped in future generations though Spike returned in G3 and G4, where he is a main character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Of the "Pony Friends" Cutesaurus the Dinosaur is the only non-mammal. Princess Silverswirl from G2 has an unnamed pet dragon, which fans have nicknamed "Spike" despite the completely different design. Western Animation Looney Tunes: An inversion in the 1936 Merrie Melodies short I Love to Singa, Jack Bunny is the only mammal, the rest of the characters are birds. Inverted in SpongeBob SquarePants. Sandy Cheeks (a squirrel) and Pearl Krabs (a sperm whale) are the token mammals among the main, major, and supporting characters. Donald Duck started out like this, though his love interest and many family members were introduced later on. Inverted with Sleepy Bat in Birdz, the only reoccurring non-avian. Care Bears: Cozy Heart Penguin is the only avian member of the Care Bear Cousins. Arthur: This unnamed crocodile/alligator. There were also anthropomorphic ducks in "Arthur's Almost Boring Day". Several episodes of The Get Along Gang included a turtle named Braker as an ancillary member of the Gang, with the Cartoon Over-Analyzations blog describing him as "the Furry equivalent of a Token Minority," as he was the one reptile in a group of mammals. Token Minority Species Examples: Animated Film Ratigan, Fidget the bat, Felicia the cat, Toby the dog, and a lizard from The Great Mouse Detective among a cast made mostly of mouse characters. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are this in A Goofy Movie, being a mouse and a bird amongst dogs and cats. Zootopia has this as a significant part of the plot, with Judy Hopps being the first rabbit police officer of Zootopia and has to struggle against the label of being the Token Minority. Comics In Paperinik New Adventures, Angus is clearly meant to be a Funny Animal kiwi bird, the only one in Duckburg. He is not only explicitly said to be from New Zealand but also a Maori. Web Original In the cat video series The Six Cats Parade, Rico is the only black cat (and the only without white color) of the group in contrast with his three black and white and one siamese siblings and his mother, which is a gray and white cat. Western Animation Pete and P.J. are this in Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie are token cats, despite being treated like Dogfaces in those worlds. Also, Waffles and Chainsaw from Goof Troop are a token cat and dog in a world of Dogfaces. In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the majority of the population as well as the main six characters seem to be evenly distributed among unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies. However, there are several other intelligent species in the world. Cattle, sheep, donkeys, mules, buffalo, zebra and possibly goats are all people just as much as ponies, and the same goes for some mythological beings like minotaurs and griffons. However, these beings only have short gag cameos or one-shot appearances. The only exception is Zecora the Zebra. Token Petting Zoo People Examples: Film Beans the lizard and Angelique the fox from Rango Literature Stuart Little is far more anthropomorphic than the other animals in all his book and movie appearances and in the TV series. Note that in the original book he's human by heritage; his parents are his actual parents. He just happens to have been born with the approximate form of a mouse. How anyone worked out he was a viable life-form, let alone that he had the potential to grow up intelligent, when he was born so mutated and looking like a miscarriage is left to the imagination, because it is a children's book. Video Games Rouge the Bat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, as far as games are concerned. Western Animation Minerva Mink from Animaniacs. Also, Wilford B. Wolf is this when he transforms into a werewolf. Mousey Galore from Pinky and the Brain. Julie Bruin, Margot Mallard, Binky Bunny, and Bimbette the skunk from Tiny Toon Adventures. Lola Bunny, Melissa Duck, and Hatta Mari (a pigeon from "Plane Daffy") from Looney Tunes, and Tina Russo from The Looney Tunes Show. Ren's parents from Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon are far more human-shaped than either he or Stimpy are. of these characters' ethnicities, nor are they ever described as such. In fact, Word of God has been needed to identify some of the black characters in the series. Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Yoko Akia is the Token Asian, and Alexis Thorne is the Token Black of the Sisterhood or the Vigilantes. The other women are white. The two characters' nationalities definitely play a role in the series. Oddly, Alexis reveals in her thoughts that she knows that she was framed for crimes she did not commit because she was a poor black woman, but in the book starring her called Lethal Justice, that was not brought up at all! Gone has a very large and very diverse cast, with multiple black, Asian, Latin, and gay characters, and even one character with severe autism. The Mortal Instruments: Simon is Jewish, Maia is biracial, and Magnus is part Asian. The House of Night: Kramisha is the only black Red Fledgling. She is portrayed as a Soul Sister who speaks mostly in jive. Shaunee, the only black member of the "nerd heard" (and the only black lead for the first several books) and who we're constantly reminded is black. In the book "Come a Stranger" by Cynthia Voigt, the main character gets to be the only black girl at an exclusive summer camp. After the camp gives her a lame reason for kicking her out, she gets asked "How does it feel to be an ex-token minority?" Both Jem Carstairs and Magnus Bane from The Infernal Devices are part Asian. Radar from Paper Towns; he even lampshades this by referring to himself as the "token black friend" of the group. Mike in Stephen King It (see the film version). Live Action TV Teen Wolf seems to maintain a slot for a recurring gay extra (Danny in seasons 1-3, Mason in season 4). These characters are usually only in about half the episodes in any given season, onscreen for less than two minutes if they do appear and may not have any actual dialogue. They occupy the roles of best friends of secondary characters. If they have dialogue, it almost invariably contains some reminder that they are gay. The tokenism appeared to be broken in Season 3 with the introduction of gay werewolf Ethan. But he also occupied a minor role, did not always have lines and was only present for the one season. 30 Rock Lampshaded when, to call attention during a GE exclusive lunch, Jack calls out, "Gentlemen... token ladies." The character Toofer is named for the Twofer Token Minority trope. In a transparent attempt to say "we had a gay regular on the show," Law & Order had Serena Southerlyn come out as lesbian to the audience in the last minute of her final episode. Worth noting that actress attended the same school of Mona Lisa Smile as listed above. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit lampshades it when Detective Fin replaces Detective Jeffries (both are black). The show also averted it in later seasons with the addition of M.E. Warner and Dr. Huang to the regular cast. As of Season 15 this trope is entirely averted, as of the five members of the main cast two are Latino and one is black. Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali of The Big Bang Theory was born and raised in New Delhi, a reference to his actor, Kunal Nayyar, having spent most of his life growing up in the city. Averted in Grey's Anatomy, in which almost half the regular cast is non-white. The production team is, however, very aware and tellingly proud of the fact. The GA staff used racial-blind casting, when you start auditions without picking the ethnic background of the characters. However as the show continued and a load of new cast members were added, the majority of them were white. Brooklyn Nine-Nine averts this trope. Of the seven members of the main cast, three are female, two are Latina, two are African-American, and one is Jewish. Captain Holt, is both African-American and gay, though neither he nor his partner fall easily into stereotypes. Argentine-born actress Stephanie Beatriz said that when she and Cuban-American Melissa Fumero realized they were both members of the main cast, they were sure there had been a mistake and that one of them was going to get fired Subverted on The Red Green Show, with the character of Edgar K.B. Montrose, played by First Nations actor Graham Greene. Greene himself approached producer Steve Smith, asking to be on the show after enjoying it on TV. The role they gave him was essentially colour-blind - that of an explosives "enthusiast" who can't really call himself an expert, since experts have the proper license and permits, and more training in handling dynamite than just watching a lot of Road Runner cartoons. Edgar was Too Dumb to Live, but that also described everybody else on the show. The only reference to Greene's ethnicity in his time on the show was a humorous Shout-Out in his first appearance, when Edgar commented about the film Dances with Wolves, and stated that the "Native guy" (Greene himself), should have gotten the Oscar. Similarly, the only non-white main character on Corner Gas is Davis Quinton, the Sergeant of Dog River's two-member police force. He (and the actor who plays him, Lorne Cardinal) is a member of the Cree Nation, hardly a rarity in Rural Saskatchewan. However, this is incidental to his character; it's only brought up once, at the end of the first season, when Karen suggests going to a ticket scalper and he acts offended. Also, both bartenders (Phil and Paul) appear Cree. One of them speaks some Cree, enough to know the original name of Dog River. Referenced in Star Trek: Voyager (itself a very racially diverse show) where Janeway and Chakotay discuss the issues involved in a ship crewed by both Federation members and Maquis separatists. Janeway notes that by making the Maquis Chakotay her second in command she hopes she has already shown that she can be tolerant of them, and Chakotay responds, "I have no intention of being your token Maquis." Back in the original series, the creators had to fight Executive Meddling to get two Token Minorities, Sulu and Uhura, on the bridge, and some nonwhites among the extras. The original pilot pushed further with a female second in command, and Spock was considered to be radical at the time as an Alien, especially with the original plans being for Spock to have either green or red skin. Also notable that both lead characters of Spock and Kirk were played by Jews. Then there's the gutsy move of creating a Russian main character at the height of the Cold War. Deep Space Nine, with a somewhat varied cast itself, has an odd class example. Miles O'Brien is heavily played up as a Closer to Earth blue-collar NCO in a staff of implicitly elite Officer and a Gentleman types, complete with a labour-movement martyr in his ancestry. (Granted, one can call Captain Sisko upwardly-mobile, as the son of a restaurateur, but this was revealed much later and never emphasised). Though the Federation is supposed to be truly egalitarian, classless meritocracy, so the whole issue is a little murky. Star Trek: The Next Generation of course had Worf as an in-universe example, the only Klingon in all of Starfleet, having been adopted by humans in his youth. Quite a bit of Character Development resulted from his dealings with born-and-raised Klingons who variously failed to live up to his idealized image of Klingon honor or disapproved of his choice to stay with the humans instead of returning to his people (where his family was disgraced anyways). Another in-universe example would be Data as the only Android of the Starfleet (and one of the very few Androids of the whole universe). In The Class Kyle's boyfriend Aaron is introduced as a secondary character to counteract the Monochrome Casting. Averted in the original Battlestar Galactica, especially in the episode "Fire In Space" which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Boomer and Tigh's extensive roles. Pete Ross from Smallville is an especially funny example, as his comic book counterpart is white. Both radio experts on Hogan's Heroes were token black characters. Given that they were all prisoners and obviously not all from the same unit, WWII segregation wasn't really an issue. Sgt. Kinchloe (played by Ivan Dixon) was more than the radio expert - he was second-in-command. He also had at least three episodes showcasing him. And his role was prominent enough that the practice of cutting out the black characters for the "Southern Version" (practiced up to the late 1960's) wasn't usually possible. Sgt. Baker (played by Kenneth Washington) was a better fit when he took Kinchloe's place, having previously been the one black guy in the mob of line-less background prisoners. It is still notable that most of Kinchloe's spotlight episodes were the only ones to feature a black Girl of the Week (an African princess and an old high school girlfriend respectively). Saturday Night Live has been guilty of this at multiple points in its run. Garrett Morris in the 70s. Eddie Murphy in the early 80s. While certainly nobody would question Murphy's right to be there, the fact remained that the show felt no obligation to have another black in the cast as long as Murphy was there. (In fact, Robert Townsend, who was originally hired to be the token black guy, was let go once Murphy showed up.) In the early 90s, the show for a change had multiple blacks in the cast. However, when SNL turned over most of its cast in 1995, they kept Tim Meadows on primarily to avoid giving the impression that the show was trying to rid itself of all its black performers. For the past few years it's been just Kenan Thompson. Season 35 introduces Jay Pharoah alongside Kenan. As a matter of fact, he's beginning to take some precedence over Kenan, especially to play the skinnier, more handsome African-American celebrities such as Denzel Washington. But it helps that his impressions are spot-on for nearly anyone. However there's also the non-black but non-white characters, like Nasim Pedrad, who is Iranian (notwithstanding the controversy over whether Iranians should be lumped in with Arabs and other Semitic peoples, or whether they are "dark whites"), or Fred Armisen who is part German, Japanese and Venezuelan. He is both the second Asian and second Hispanic cast member of SNL. The first Hispanic cast member was Horatio Sanz, a white Hispanic from the looks of him. He was often cast as Italian characters. In late 2013, SNL received a lot of criticism for their relative lack of black female cast members throughout their almost 40 year history. They held a casting call and ended up casting Sasheer Zamata, who is only the fifth black female cast member in the history of the show and the only one on the show since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007. Benson from Soap (made in the 70s, mind) was the only black character in the show for the first three seasons and he was the butler. He was never used to put across any racial message and if anything he was the Only Sane Man in the entire show. When Benson got replaced in season three, there was Saunders the Expy, also black. In season three only there was Polly Dawson, a black woman who dates Danny who was there to try and push a racial message around. They do get some racial attacks and eventually Danny gets paranoid about everybody staring at the two of them in public. MADtv was guilty of this with Bobby Lee, the only Asian on the show. He even played a stereotypically Asian recurring character. Ricky and later Junito (Latino) of Noah's Arc, which has a predominantly African-American cast. In fact, they are the only non-African-Americans of the cast. A sketch on Dead Ringers lampshaded this with the Schwarzenegger film Shooting Lots and Lots of Bad Guys with my Very Big Gun- Arnie shouts "Noooooo! Token Black Buddy!" after his sidekick is killed by Token British Bad Guy. Dreama (black) in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Both subverted and played straight. Instead of bringing a token gay character onto the show, the writers had one of the three central characters turn out to be a lesbian. On the other hand, it wasn't until the seventh season that there was an important character who was black, and when he did show up he was the token black guy. Season 3 had the Genre Savvy (and sadly under-used) villain Mr. Trick, a modern black vampire who commented on the fact that there were very few people of color in Sunnydale. There were also a few other black characters, like Absalom and Olivia, as well as Rona in season seven. Before coming out as Lesbian, Willow was already the Token Jewish Girl. Of course after her outing she became Twofer Token Minority. The U.S. black music program Soul Train had some token white dancers in the audience. The character of Charlie Young was added to The West Wing just because the NAACP was criticizing the show for not having a Token Minority. Charlie's "token minority" status is particularly interesting in this case, as the only two of the shows main characters are white and Protestant (and that is if one guesses on Sam, whose religion is not mentioned but can be presumed not to be Catholic or Jewish). Two of the main characters are Jewish, four are Catholic, making the show's main cast far more diverse than the actual US population, even without Charlie in the mix. Star Trek: Enterprise, unlike the previous shows (which were such aversions of Humans Are White they were often accused of being Five Token Bands by some), has a black guy, a Asian woman, and everyone else is white. And also note that, in order to make it obvious to the audience he was only on the show so they could say they had a Token Minority, the black guy was a glorified extra... Subverted on ''Sue Thomas F. B. Eye" where the main character is a deaf female FBI agent. Scrubs had the great feature of JD and Turk's College Brochure. Turk is photoshopped in twice to make it appear more diverse. Lampshaded in the episode My Long Goodbye when Turk struggles to think of other black members of staff. He gets himself and Nurse Roberts (whom he is speaking to), Snoop Dog Attending, and Leonard the Security Guard... Turk:This is a white-ass hospital. He then adds that if this were a horror movie, he'd be getting nervous. Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati, although the show made a strong effort to depict him as a well-rounded individual. Parodied in an episode of The Real Husbands of Hollywood where George Lopez guest-stars as himself, with his introduction caption stating "Helping attract Latino audience." On House, Omar Epps was the only series regular of color for three seasons, until House hired three new underlings, at which point Kal Penn became the token South Asian guy. Having said that, Wilson, Cuddy and Taub are all Jewish to varying degrees of obviousness. And Thirteen is bisexual, and House is an atheist. And his atheism is portrayed... well, not negatively, at any rate. They do okay. Robin Hood has David Harewood as a black Friar Tuck in 12th century England. Van-Pires had Snap, who is really blatantly this (just look at that nickname!) Bonnie Bennett in The Vampire Diaries TV show. She has her own storyline for a bit, but it turns out to exist only to facilitate the (white, male) lead vampire's storyline. She was white in the books - but they completely erased the existence another extremely prominent female character who was Latina and definitely minimized Bonnie's personality and agency. Joss Whedon's Firefly Zoe, the second in command on board Serenity, is both black and a female in a position of authority. And she's badass! Shepherd Book is black, old, religious and badass! There are, however, no Chinese people. The villain from the Big Damn Movie, a Wicked Cultured black Well-Intentioned Extremist with a katana who avoids every Scary Black Man trope apart from being both black and fucking terrifying. Showtime's Dexter manages to avert this. In adapting from the book, the producers were given the liberty to change the ethnicity of any character based on the actors they wanted to hire. Instead, they hired a genuinely racially diverse cast and nobody got a Race Lift. However, the issue of tokenism is addressed; LaGuerta got her position based on her ability to spin things to her advantage and her Twofer Token Minority status (black Hispanic woman), and when she pisses off her boss, he very carefully replaces her with a second twofer-token (a black, Haitian woman) who got her rank as an officer the hard way. Captain Matthews: (referring to LaGuerta's replacement) Turns out she's an actual hero. Khaleel "Kenny" Al-Bahir is the Token Middle Eastern in The War at Home. Also token gay. In Flashpoint, we have Lewis Young, Winnie the dispatcher and after Lewis's death Leah Kerns as the Token Minorities. Spin City had Carter Heywood, a Twofer Token Minority who averted both Positive Discrimination and plain old discrimination by being a well-rounded character. Michael Boatman was the only regular black cast member. Lost, despite having a huge cast from a diverse range of backgrounds, only ever had one gay character, Tom Friendly. And his sexuality wasn't even confirmed until after he'd been killed off. Some Disney Channel shows include a rich, intelligent, yet conniving and selfish Latino as a token minority character. Some examples: That's So Raven, The Proud Family and Hannah Montana. Earth 2 had a token black character who was a violent criminal whose "reform" consisted of a chip in his brain when the chip malfunctioned, he tries to kill everybody. Carrusel has a few. Cirilo is Black. David is Ashkenazi Jewish. Kokimoto is Japanese. Bibi is North American of English Ancestry. Jim Carrey launched his career being the only white guy (most of the time) on the predominantly black In Living Color!. Modern Family has Gloria and her son Manny, who fit Hispanic stereotypes perfectly. They are also used as an excuse to use Hispanic jokes shamelessly. There are also two gay men who are raising an adopted Vietnamese child. Boy Meets World had two separate token blacks a different points: Eli Williams in season 3 and Angela in seasons 5-7. Angela lampshades this a few times: "Gosh I got to get some black friends." Transparently present every single time a British channel is presenting Association Football. The usual line up is "old white managernoteCoach, for American audiences.", "middle-aged white recently retired ex midfielder/defender/goalie", "just-retired black forward/midfielder". Sometimes they even try to claim "Scottish" as equivalent to "black." Infrequently but annoyingly, the channel ends up with someone from Francophone Africa whose grasp of the English language simply isn't up to the job, making the tokenism at play especially obvious (and presumably depriving Francophone viewers of the much better standard of commentary he could offer in his native tongue). The modern Charlie's Angels revamp adds a black Angel in order to appeal to modern audiences. Stockinger, the spinoff of the Austrian show Inspector Rex, has Antonella Simoni, a cheerful Italian-Austrian cop and the first female cop to appear in the Inspector Rex franchise. A few Australian cop shows have had a single token Polynesian cop - Water Rats, Rush, and East West 101 are good examples, although East West 101 had a Muslim Arab-Australian cop as the main character, so in that case 'token' would be stretching it. Regardless, whether this represents a trend in the Real Life Aussie police force, or just actor availability, is unknown. All 3 CSI series had one black character each. CSI had Warrick first and then Ray Langston, though with his departure, there aren't any. CSI NY had Sheldon Hawkes. CSI: Miami had Alexx (season 1-6), Tara (season 7), and Walter (season 8-10). There are quite a few black characters on Supernatural, but somehow none of them come even as close to being core cast as the women. In fact, the only one who managed to be seriously recurring was the psychotic Vampire Hunter who eventually became a vampire. His Scary Black Man traits were played with initially in that Dean thought he and his badass attitude toward decapitation was awesome, and then the guy turned out to be a hateful extremist who'd offed his own little sister after she was vamped, which pushed Dean's Berserk Button, and who didn't make any distinction between Friendly Neighborhood Vampires and the dangerous kind. The archangel Raphael, the one who never really does anything or gets much characterization, is the one linked to a bloodline of black people. He never even wears the same black person for more than a couple of appearances, because after he burns them out and dumps them they're in no condition to consent again. That poor family. Also, those poor actors. The guy who he wore in 'Free to be You and Me' was pretty impressively creepy. There was a married black couple of hunters, one of whom was British, who were rude and overconfident. The husband died in their first appearance, and the wife was not very useful and never came back. First-season psychic character Missouri Moseley could have been useful on a number of occasions since when they've been desperate for allies, including on a couple of occasions specifically a psychic, but has never even been referenced, even when they went back to her town, although it was too late for help by that point. In seasons two and three there were a few appearances by hard-assed Cowboy Cop Victor Hendriksen, the black FBI agent assigned to the Dean Winchester case. He had an Enemy Mine when the station in which he was holding the boys fell under demonic siege, and after they left he was killed. He reappeared as an angry ghost at the beginning of season four. There's also Bobby's old partner Rufus Turner, gruff old bastard with a taste for fine scotch. Minorities other than black generally don't even get token appearances, though there were some hot Asian fanservice girls, at least one with a small speaking part. The longest running non-white character is probably Kevin Tran, who showed up at the very end of season 7 and made sporadic appearances throughout seasons 8 and 9. His mother, Linda, also premiered around the same time, but has been in even fewer episodes than him. And as of the mid-season 9 finale, Kevin has been killed off. He showed up as a ghost a few episodes after that, and left with Linda. Neither have been back since. This is a show about two white guys, with the addition of up to two other white guys, where a supermajority of women with speaking roles are blondes. Everything but white males appear only as token, although a couple of white women have gotten to the level of supporting cast before dying. Or, in one case, being given Laser-Guided Amnesia so they wouldn't be traumatized by their kidnapping, or miss Dean after he left them for their own good. Initially played straight and later subverted in The Walking Dead with T-Dog, who is the only major character in the series not to have any sub-plots and little dialog. Extremely apparent in Season 2 episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner" in which the group deliberates whether or not to kill Randall, the episode focuses on the opinions of every member of the group except T-Dog whose one line of dialog is cut off by Dale. Also played straight in Season 3. T-Dog is killed off, shortly after they gain a new black cast member. The new black guy is then killed off later, just as Tyreese, another black guy, shows up. Later, Tyreese and his sister Sasha join the main cast, though Tyreese died in the episode after Beth. Add in Michonne at the start of Season 3, and she is easily one of the most prominent female characters on the show, being an undeniable badass with a sword. Additionally, both Michonne and Sasha are still alive and important to the show, as of the mid-season finale for Season 7. Angel had Charles Gunn as the only black guy, though Doyle and Lorne might count as token demons. In Chuck, it's lampshaded that Morgan only manages to keep his job at the Buy-More because of his Hispanic descent, fulfilling the ethnic
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A new technology called smart contracts has emerged. What makes these legal agreements innovative is that their execution is made automatic through the use of computers. This Article examines smart …
A new technology called smart contracts has emerged. What makes these legal agreements innovative is that their execution is made automatic through the use of computers. This Article examines smart contracts from a legal perspective. Specifically, this Article explains smart contracts operation and place in existing contract law. It introduces a distinction between strong and weak smart contracts, as defined by the costs of their revocation and modification. The article concludes that smart contracts are simply a new form of preemptive self-help that should not be discouraged by the legislatures or courts. While certain unconscionable examples of strong smart contracts may need to be policed, judges and policymakers should foster a climate that treats smart contracts as another form of more traditional agreements.IntroductionSelf-help is nothing new. Whether building walls to stymie trespassers or changing locks to evict squatters, individuals regularly act on their own before invoking the formal legal system. Over the past few years, a group of innovators have begun designing computer technologies that bring self-help to the realm of contracts.1 See infra pp. 41. Such technologies are discussed below. They range from options contracts that automatically trigger on certain conditions (prediction markets) to fundraising platforms that automatically disburse funds when funding thresholds are met. They call these new contracts smart contracts. Their aim is to allow contracting parties to ensure their agreement is enforced by raising the costs of any breach by a prohibitive amount.Smart contracts are defined as agreements wherein execution is automated, usually by computers. Such contracts are designed to ensure performance without recourse to the courts. Automation ensures performance, for better or worse, by excising human discretion from contract execution.One example of a smart contract is the humble vending machine. If the machine is operating properly and money is inserted into the machine, then a contract for sale will be executed automatically. This is a smart contract. Such a contract poses no legal problems if the machine were to dispense soda, but legal questions arise if the machine instead dispenses heroin. Should laws be passed to ban vending machines because they can be used to further illegal ends? Or should their use be regulated ex post?Certain situations will arise that will force the law to deal with smart contracts, and the purpose of this article is to assess their legality and demonstrate that there is little difficulty situating smart contracts within existing contract law. Innovative technology does not necessitate innovative jurisprudence, and traditional legal analysis can help craft simple rules as a framework for this complex phenomenon.2 Compare Frank H. Easterbrook, Cyberspace and the Law of the Horse, 1996 U. CHI. LEGAL F. 207 (1996) (arguing that the best way to learn and craft the law of a particular field is to study general rules), with Lawrence Lessig, The Law of the Horse: What Cyberlaw Might Teach, 113 HARV. L. REV. 501 (1999) (arguing that the nature of cyberspace is unique and can reveal general principles of law); and RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, SIMPLE RULES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD, (Harv. Univ. Press. 1995) (arguing that basic legal principles can and should govern a complex, industrial society).The Article begins with a definition of smart contracts and an explanation of the interplay between legal prose and machines. This analysis will also engage with the existing smart contract research, which is often written from a computer science perspective. The salient features of smart contracts differ between the technical and legal discussions, a fact which is lost in the existing literature. To help clarify, the article will introduce a classification of strong and weak smart contracts. To provide context to the above discussion, a short history of the idea will be included.Next, the two technological components that have enabled smart contracts will be explained. The first component will be termed contractware, which can be defined as the physical or digital instantiations of contract terms onto machines or other property involved in the performance of the contract.3 The pieces of property do not need to be tangible; software systems can be embedded with contractware.4 The term contractware has appeared elsewhere to refer to commercial software offerings that facilitate the workflow and writing of traditional contracts. By instantiation, we mean taking the terms of the agreement and either writing them into previously existing software or writing them into software that is connected in some way to a machine that implements the contract. Take, for example, the innards of our aforementioned vending machine. A physical device within the machine is encoded with a sellers offer. The machine will only dispense a soda if the terms of the agreement are met, for instance, by depositing a Krugerrand into the device. In addition to discussing the legal theory behind the vending machine, the contraptions radical history will also be discussed to remedy the paucity of vending machine literature that exists in legal academia.5 Cf. Orin Kerr, The Influence of Immanuel Kant on Evidentiary Approaches in Eighteenth Century Bulgaria, 18 GREEN BAG 2d 251 (2015); see also Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., Interview at Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Annual Conference (June 25, 2011) (much like how Professor Kerrs work remedied the paucity of legal literature on the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in eighteenth century Bulgaria, a paucity that was observed by Chief Justice Roberts). This history sheds light on the power of the smart contract to protect individual autonomy over state diktat.There is a second technological component this article will discuss: decentralized ledgers, also known as blockchains. These are databases of information that are created by a network with no central authority.6 See, e.g., Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, BITCOIN PROJECT, http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf [https://perma.cc/GXZ8-6SDR]. For instance, instead of a public recordation system that exists on paper files stored in city hall, a blockchain system would keep a decentralized ledger on the computers of every node running the software.7 Id. at 2, 4. It has become easier to build and enforce secure contracts without recourse to the state through the use of shared, instead of centralized, consensus-establishing mechanisms. The combination of these componentscontractware and blockchainshas made smart contracts that are enforced by a decentralized, third-party network possible.8 Other systems of verification are possible, but blockchains have become a sort of Schelling point. Attention from the media and capital have established this particular technology as the one to work with.Part *TK* of the Article will analyze smart contracts through the lens of existing doctrines in contract law. The section will provide an overview of the classic stages of contract formation and pose a series of observations and questions that are implicated by smart contracts. In particular, this section will discuss consideration, formation, avoidance, performance, breach, and remedy. Section TK will explore one existing application of smart contracts: automobile starter interrupters. These are devices that are installed in cars by creditors, allowing them to remotely disable the car if a debtor has breached the terms of an agreement. The subject of this section will be how courts and legislatures have dealt with these devices. This is a current instance where courts have passed judgment on the legality of smart contracts, albeit not self-consciously. They were not setting out to rule on legality, but implicitly did so as a collateral matter.Next, the Article will examine the benefits of smart contracts. Like many technologies, the creators and early adopters of smart contracts are ideologically driven and believe that the invention can radically alter the nature of society and its relationship with the traditional centralized state. Many believe that private enforcement of contracts can reduce the need and extent of monopolized police and legal services provided by the state.9 See, e.g., ROBERT NOZICK, ANARCHY, STATE, AND UTOPIA (1974); MURRAY ROTHBARD, THE ETHICS OF LIBERTY (1982); DAVID FRIEDMAN, THE MACHINERY OF FRIEDMAN (1973); EDWARD STRINGHAM, ANARCHY AND THE LAW (2007). However, the vision of the first movers often gives way to the realities of a conservative world that looks askance at new technologies. There are, however, benefits of smart contracts that do not upend the existing social order, but instead decrease transaction costs by cutting out intermediaries. This allows for industrial society to operate more effectively. These benefits extend to financial transactions, corporate governance, financial products, and a host of other potential applications that have been analyzed by economists.The final section of the Articlediscusses both a philosophical and practical set of problems with smart contracts. The benefits of smart contracts must be viewed in light of their inherent limitations. A smart contract asks its parties to tie themselves to the mast like Ulysses and ex ante commit to abiding by the terms of the agreement.10 HOMER, THE ODYSSEY, Book XII, 36-54 (A.T. Murray trans.) (c. 800 B.C.E.), http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey12.html [https://perma.cc/WSP5-VGPN] (describing Ulysses commands that his troops tie him to the mast of his ship so that he would not be tempted by the Sirens and their alluring voices, which would have resulted in his death). In certain instances, the state may want to prevent individuals from committing themselves if the terms of the contract are substantively unconscionable.Smart Contracts: Strong and Weak DefinitionA smart contract is an agreement whose execution is automated.11 Alternative and broader definitions of smart contracts exist and these may be better for computer science purposes, but for legal purposes, what is relevant is the excision of human control. See, e.g., Christopher D. Clack et al., Smart Contract Templates: Foundations, Design Landscape and Research Directions 2 (Aug. 4, 2016) (unpublished manuscript), http://arxiv.org/pdf/1608.00771v2.pdf [https://perma.cc/8Z5P-QRM9] (A smart contract is an agreement whose execution is both automatable and enforceable. Automatable by computer, although some parts may require human input and control. Enforceable by either legal enforcement of rights and obligations or tamper-proof execution.). Much of the remainder of this paper will discuss under what conditions smart contracts are legally enforceable, but if they have been executed, then the agreement has been enforced in some sense. The cogs of a vending machine enforce the agreement, even if ex post a court finds the sale to be impermissible. This automatic execution is often effected through a computer running code that has translated legal prose into an executable program.12 Automation is generally taken to mean being executed by one or more computers. Smart Contract Templates. For a discussion of this translation process see Tom Hvitved, Contract Formalisation and Modular Implementation of Domain-Specific Languages (Mar. 2, 2012) (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Copenhagen) (on file with author). It is an open area of research as to whether computers can actually affect this execution, but for the purposes of this paper, what poses the most novel legal questions is what happens when human legal prose and execution are subordinate to mechanical execution. This program has control over the physical or digital objects needed to effect execution. Examples are a car that has a program installed to prevent ignition if the terms of a debt contract are not met or banking software that automatically transfers money if certain conditions are met. A smart contract does not rely on the state for enforcement, but is a way for contracting parties to ensure performance.For legal purposes, I will further differentiate between strong and weak smart contracts. Strong smart contracts have prohibitive costs of revocation and modification, while weak smart contracts do not. This means that if a court is able to alter a contract after it has been executed with relative ease, then it will be defined as a weak smart contract. If there is some large cost to altering the contract in a way that it would not make sense for a court to do so, then the contract will be defined as strong.Numerous alternative definitions of smart contracts have been proposed.13 See, e.g., Clack et al., supra note 9; Josh Stark, Making Sense of Blockchain Smart Contracts, COINDESK (June 4, 2016, 18:36 GMT), http://www.coindesk.com/making-sense-smart-contracts/ [https://perma.cc/37QL-6TCN]. In a paper outlining a template for creating standard smart contracts, Clack et al. proposed a broader definition of smart contracts that bifurcates into what they call traditional and non-traditional methods of enforcement.14 Clack et al., supra note 9, at 4. Clack et al. define traditional means of enforcement as those through institutions like arbitration or courts of law these are weak smart contracts in our classification scheme, because the costs to change or revoke the contract are not high enough to proscribe courts or arbitrators from doing so.15 Id. An example of a weak smart contract would be an easily revocable money transfer between two large financial institutions where a court could simply order the transfer undone or modified if necessary. They define non-traditional means of enforcement as those through tamper-proof technology with the assumption that in a perfect implementation of the system wrong-performance or non-performance become impossible.16 Id. This narrower set of smart contracts is what I deem the strong variety. The reason is that the execution of the contract can be tampered with by the courts in the sense that the court can alter the original intentions of the parties.From the perspective of innovators, this bifurcation makes sense because as a practical matter, technology and society are far away from the pure, strong smart contract definition this paper considers. For instance, personal service contracts are not subject to computer control.Clack et al.s broad definition does not capture what is unique about smart contracts from a legal perspective. The broad definition that includes instances where courts can interpret and enforce the contract is indistinguishable from a traditional contract law. If a court has power to interpret and then enforce a contract, then it is the smart actor and will abide by previous precedential rules and statutory frameworks. Traditional enforcers who are confronted with contracts that use technology, but ultimately rely on some form of alterable behavior, will be able to award damages, issue injunctions, or enforce criminal penalties to enforce their understanding of the law. For instance, consider a smart contract that requires a party to mow a lawn if funds are dispersed. And suppose the mechanism for enforcing the dispersal of funds was a sensor that measures the lawns average grass length. Although one side of the contract could be automatically enforced, because the behavior of the human party is alterable by a court, i.e. a court can excuse performance, the contract will not necessarily execute.But traditional enforcers who are confronted with strong smart contracts will be helpless ex post. This is the novel situation that a legal definition of smart contracts needs to address. Unlike non-smart contracts whose performance can be stopped by the parties either voluntarily or by court order, once a strong smart contract has been initiated, by definition, it must execute. If, for instance, an individual in our above hypothetical were to install a device in his brain that would cause crippling pain if the lawn was not mowed, there is a case that the contract is in a stronger sense self-enforcing. This is the novel question posed to courts, and so this article will examine this second set of contracts. Much of this article will deal with smart contracts whose execution is contrary to governing law.ContractwareContracts are most often enforced by the parties to the contract. This is because most contracts do not end in breach and rancor, but rather in performance and completion. Modern industrial society would not be possible if this were not the case.It is only when there is a dispute over a contract that there is a need for enforcement. Yet resorting to the court system is a resource-intensive process.17 See Paula Hannaford-Agor & Nicole L. Waters, Estimating the Cost of Civil Litigation, 20 NATL CTR. STATE CTS. 1, 7 (2013), /CSPH_online2.ashx [https://perma.cc/E3FV-AK8P]. The opportunity to ensure performance ex ante is a preferable situation if the expected value of the costs of litigation outweigh the expected value of the contract. Because litigation can be a resource-intensive undertaking, the rise of contractware qua enforcer could be a welcome possibility.I will define contractware as the physical instantiation of a computer-decipherable contract.18 Nick Szabo, A Formal Language for Analyzing Contracts, NICK SZABOS ESSAYS, PAPERS, & CONCISE TUTORIALS (2002), ture/LOTwinterschool2006/szabo.best.vwh.net/contractlanguage.html [https://perma.cc/N8LX-9FXG] (refers to a similar idea as proplets.); see also Ian Grigg, The Ricardian Contract, IANG.ORG, http://iang.org/papers/ricardian_contract.html (last visited Feb. 6, 2017) [https://perma.cc/M2S5-9EJF]. The terms of many contracts can be written in programming languages that are communicated to a machine.19 See, e.g., Szabo, supra note 26; Simon Peyton Jones et al., Composing Contracts: An Adventure In Financial Engineering, 5 P. ACM SIGPLAN INTL CONF. ON FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING I CONF. F P 280 (2000); see also The Solidity Contract-Oriented Programming Language, GITHUB, https://github.com/ethereum/solidity/ (last visited Feb. 6, 2017) [https://perma.cc/K8AN-DX3Z] (displaying the Ethereum platforms Solidity language for programming smart contracts). The reason for this is that performance and enforcement of a contract essentially boils down to conditional statements, which are foundational to computing.20 Computers take inputs and apply functions to them to derive outputs. John McCarthy, Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine, Part I, 3 Comm. ACM 184 (1960).For example, in a secured auto loan, if a certain amount of money is not received by a certain date, then the car can be repossessed. While many contracts are certainly more complex, at base, conditional statements stand behind all enforcement.21 As a theoretical matter, perhaps not all conditionals in law can be reduced to code, but parties can certainly reduce many conditionals to code, and where they cannot, they should not consider using a smart contract. Whether interpreting private contracts, statutes, or the Constitution, American courts take a series of inputs, run them through a series of conditionals, and then have an executor to enforce their output. For instance, if a city tried to segregate its schools, a court would run this factual input through the conditional of Brown, viz. if segregation, then enjoin, and have someone enforce the output.22 Admittedly, equitable doctrines complicate matters and nebulous judicial standards, such as with all deliberate speed and rational basis, escape formulaic application, likely by design. But outside of the realm of constitutional law, courts tend to value the law be settled than that it be settled right. Burnet v. Coronado Oil & Gas Co., 285 U.S. 393, 406 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).It is important to mention that the instantiation of the contract need not be in a physical piece of property or hardware, but can instead be in another piece of computer code. For instance, a bank account could include contractware that interacts with the banks systems. As an example, such contractware could commit a buyer to send money to escrow once certain external conditions were met. Automatic payment of credit card bills, such as the service offered by Chase, are already in operation.23 Cf. CHASE, ONLINE SERV. AGREEMENT, https://chaseonline.chase.com/Content.aspx?ContentId=COLSA1A_LA (last visited Feb. 6, 2017) [https://perma.cc/76BC-6ZWJ] (Some Chase Loan and Credit Accounts will allow you to set up automatic payments. Automatic payments differ from repeating payments in that automatic payments are triggered based on the associated billing date and the payment amount may vary each month. Terms and conditions for automatic payments to Chase Loan and Credit Accounts will be presented to you at the time you set up the payments.). As a technological matter, until the advent of computers, it was difficult to use contractware. This left a larger role for courts and their agents to enforce contracts. Now, however, with increased digitization and the so-called Internet of Things, the feasibility of installing contractware has increased dramatically.24 For example, even refrigerators can now connect to the Internet. See, e.g., Folasade Osisanwo et al., Internet Refrigerator A typical Internet of Things (IoT), 3 INTL CONF. ADVANCES ENGG SCI. & APPLIED MATHEMATICS 59 (2015), http://iieng.org/images/proceedings_pdf/2602E0315051.pdf. [https://perma.cc/R9BB-DYJ9]. Consider a world where HVAC systems are connected to the internet. Smart contracts can be used to ensure payment and services altered if customers are in default.On the above view, the enforcement of a contract is nothing more than the running of a circumstance through a conditional statement. The central question to ask is: who runs the conditional statement? The most common and least disputed enforcement of a contract comes from the parties themselves. Take the contract, Max agrees to buy Whiteacre from Richard for 500 Krugerrands. The conditional can be written If Max pays Richard 500 Krugerrands, then Richard will sign a piece of paper granting Max legal title to Whiteacre. In most instances, Max gives Richard 500 Krugerrands and Richard then signs the document granting him Whiteacre. The parties themselves interpreted and enforced the contract.When things go wrong, however, a third party can be invoked to interpret and enforce the conditional statements. The most familiar example of such a third party is a common-law judge using his legal reasoning combined with his sheriff to physically enforce the output of the conditional statement. At base, the judge is nothing more than a computer who applies a series of rules to a set of facts and then instructs others to enforce his output.25 Cf. Anthony DAmato, Can/Should Computers Replace Judges?, 11 G. L. R. 1277, 1277-1301 (1977).But judicial enforcement of contracts is not the only way that contracts can be enforced. Instead of having a judge interpret and enforce the statements, it is possible to have a machine do so. Such a machine would need to have two abilities. First, it must be able to render correct outputs from given factual inputs. Second, its output needs to be reified some way in the real world. The vending machine is the archetypical example of a self-executing smart contract. Vending machines have been defined as self-contained automatic machines that dispense goods or provide services when coins are inserted.26 KERRY SEGRAVE, VENDING MACHINES: AN AMERICAN SOCIAL HISTORY 1 (McFarland & Co.) (2002). In other words, they complete one side of a contract once unilateral acceptance in the form of money tender has been effected.27 in Arkansas ruled that the installation of a starter interrupter, while not per se illegal, violated the Bankruptcy Codes automatic stay because it prevented the debtor from the normal use of her car.107 11 U.S.C. 362. The court noted that the creditor could have remedied the situation by taking action to ensure that Debtor had the correct code to operate her car each month, such as by mailing the correct code to Debtor each month.108 In re Hampton, 319 B.R. 163, 175 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2005). A line of code written that would honor a courts grant of an automatic stay motion by allowing the car to operate is another potential remedy.The automatic stay, like the prohibition on selling alcohol to minors, acts as an external condition that the smart contract must incorporate into its terms if it is to comply with the law. The reason is because an individual cannot contractually waive his right to file for bankruptcy as a matter of public policy.109 In re Citadel Properties, Inc., 86 B.R. 275 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1988) (A total prohibition against filing for bankruptcy would be contrary to Constitutional authority as well as public policy.). As seen before, this can either be solved ex ante or ex post. This situation seems ripe for private solution, as it is not difficult to determine whether a party has filed for bankruptcy, given the public nature of these proceedings. A simple conditional could be written that if bankruptcy has been filed, then the starter interrupt cannot be engaged.As blockchains currently exist, starter interrupters are operated by the creditor and done so with the use of discretion.110 May 2012 Payment Devices Best Practices NABD Study #3, NATL ALLIANCE OF BUY HERE PAY HERE DEALERS (Apr. >/10/May-2012-Payment-Devices-Best-Practices.pdf [https://perma.cc/H3B9-TFM2]. But large corporations, like Toyota, have contemplated using blockchains to enforce their contractual arrangements.111 Peter Coy & Olga Kharif, This Is Your Company on Blockchain, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK (Aug. 25, 2016), -on-blockchain [https://perma.cc/Q49W-CXUC]. By invoking a blockchain for third-party verification, this discretion would be lost, but the debtor would be able to ensure that an interested party did not have the unilateral ability to control his collateral. The lower interest rates that come along with the blockchains assurances may provide a valuable option to some debtors who view the rigidity as enticing.Self-Help and Smart Contracts Private Enforcement and Political PhilosophySelf-help remedies have been defined as legally permissible conduct that individuals undertake absent the compulsion of law and without the assistance of a government official in efforts to prevent or remedy a civil wrong.112 Douglas I. Brandon et al., Self-Help: Extrajudicial Rights, Privileges and Remedies in Contemporary American Society, 37 VAND. L. REV. 845, 850 (1984). Automated execution of a contract is a preemptive form of self-help because no recourse to a court is needed for the machine to execute the agreement. A smart contract may not, however, meet the first terms of the definition because of illegal contracts like the vending machine that dispenses heroin or the implanted bomb that explodes when a debtor defaults. These contracts are outliers that must be dealt with, but the background approach the state should take towards smart contracts is a liberal one.113 See Richard A. Epstein, The Theory and Practice of Self-Help, 1 J.L. ECON. & POLY 1, 26 (2005) ([W]hat the law should do is to supply a second legal remedy that offers the complete relief (or at least more complete relief) that the self-help remedy could not supply.).Smart contracts offer a wider range of assurances to parties who previously had to use other mechanisms to ensure performance. For example, without smart contracts parties are more likely to prefer instantaneous performance or overvalue the reputation of the counterparty. These are good proxies for ensuring performance, but not ironclad and come with their own costs.114 Id. at 22-23 (To be sure, there are risks even in this context. Against these perils, the simplest form of protection is a simultaneous exchange in which each side gets to inspect the goods or services provided by the other before going through with the dealThe situation gets more difficult when the exchange takes place sequentially, that is, when one side performs before the other. But once again these trading systems do not suffer a total meltdown. The potential for long-term gain may be sufficient to induce individuals from taking what is left in the first round.). Much of the literature on self-help in contract law has dealt with how a party who has been aggrieved can remedy the wrong that has been committed against him.115 See, e.g., Mark P. Gergen, A Theory of Self-Help Remedies in Contract, 89 B.U. L. REV. 1397, 1449 (2009) (The primary goal was to give a general account of the rules that regulate the powers to withhold or refuse performance in response to breach, and the power to threaten to do so to extract concessions, which is normatively appealing and well-grounded in the laws specifics.). The advent and proliferation of the smart contract will focus the attention on the harms done to the breaching party, ensuring that party autonomy take a backseat to other norms that society wishes to enforce. In what follows, this Article will examine the potential benefits to non-breaching parties and society at large and then examine the costs to breaching parties and what limits the state will place on the use of smart contracts.As with many new technologies, behind bitcoin stood a political ideology skeptical of centralized power and supportive of capitalism and free markets. Although he116Some will object to using he as the personal pronoun for Nakamoto when it is not known if Nakamoto is a male, let alone an individual. This article uses he for brevitys sake, fully aware that this footnote defeats this purpose. never identified himself as such, many describe the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, as a libertarian. Certainly many of the early adopters of bitcoin were self-described libertarians.117 Max Raskin, Meet the Bitcoin Millionaires, BUSINESSWEEK (Apr. 10, 2013), onaires [https://perma.cc/P4LQ-C87Y] (The surge in a Bitcoins value has made millionaires out of people who loaded up on them early onhowever briefly. Many of them are self-described libertarians, drawn by the idea of a currency that exists outside the control of governments. Some were so taken with the concept that they launched Bitcoin businesses, such as exchanges where people can buy the coins or exchange them for dollars.). Szabo has been called libertarian and his writings emphasize alternatives to the states enforcement of rights.118 See, e.g., Nick Szabo, Ten ways to make a political difference, UNENUMERATED BLOG (Aug. 12, 2007, 2:10 PM), tml [https://perma.cc/D9Q8-BERY] (Advising those who want to make a political difference to, among other things, Be prepared to vote with your feet.make your own lawdonate to or get involved with the [libertarian/conservative] Institute for JusticeTell us about your good research and good ideas.). Traditionally, states have been defined as monopoly holders of force with a power to tax.119 MAX WEBER, POLITICS AS A VOCATION (1919). Among the most radical visions for smart contracts is that the technology will subject the provision of justice to market forces and break the states monopoly over the court system. This is an idea that has been discussed by many libertarians, including Robert Nozick, Murray Rothbard, and David Friedman.120 ROBERT NOZICK, ANARCHY, STATE, AND UTOPIA (1974); MURRAY ROTHBARD, THE ETHICS OF LIBERTY (1982); DAVID FRIEDMAN, THE MACHINERY OF FRIEDMAN (1973); EDWARD STRINGHAM, ANARCHY AND THE LAW (2007).For many libertarians, the purpose of civil government is to protect private property and enforce natural rights.121 JOHN LOCKE, TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT, Chapter VII, 85 (1689). Most fundamental here is the harm principle that an individual should be free to do as he chooses, coterminous with the rights of others.122 JOHN STUART MILL, ON LIBERTY, 2122. (1859). This implies a strict adherence to freedom of contract.123 Cf. Michael W. McConnell, Contract Rights and Property Rights: A Case Study in the Relationship Between Individual Liberties and Constitutional Structure, 76 CALIF. L. REV. 267 (1988). On this view, smart contracts use technology to enforce party autonomy in a more effective manner because they prevent external interference. If contractware progresses to a point where there is truly no need for third-party enforcement, there would be no need for a state and the attendant costs that many libertarians see as unjustifiable.Smart contracts could be used to encode certain constitutional principles into armaments, such that weapons would not work if certain conditions were not met, e.g. if Congress does not declare war, weapons will not function on foreign soil. Although fanciful, applications like this limn the concerns animating many early proponents.124 In the recent novel Seveneves, Neal Stephenson imagines a gun that fires robots as projectiles and can only respond to a certain user futuristic smart bullets. NEAL STEPHENSON, SEVENEVES 676 (2015).This speculative and radical vision of smart contracts is not held by all proponents of the technology. Rather, some proponents are primarily focused on the capability of smart contracts to reduce transaction costs. Instead of fundamentally changing the nature of political governance, a new wave of smart contract proponents is concentrating on the idea that their use can make the economy and corporate governance more efficient. I call these individuals the Coaseans because they care about reducing transaction costs.125 See Ronald Coase, The Nature of the Firm, 4 ECONOMICA 16, 386-405 (1937). One of the main areas to do so is corporate governance within firms, where a number of proposals have been discussed.126 See Yermack, supra note 58. These proposals include improving shareholding voting systems, tracking debt and equity issues, and enabling triple-entry accounting.127 Id.; Ian Grigg, Triple Entry Accounting, IANG (Dec. 25, 2005, 11:04 PM), http://iang.org/papers/triple_entry.html [https://perma.cc/2FDZ-38YG].An example of a firm that utilizes smart-contract technology to execute its corporate-governance rules is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). One way of thinking of a DAO is that it is an organization where the rules of management are predetermined and run on computers.128 Decentralized Autonomous Organization, WIKIPEDIA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_autonomous_organization (last visited Feb. 13, 2017) [https://perma.cc/3FVN-4PP9]. One such DAO was formed in 2016.129 Coy & Kharif, supra note 120. The idea was to create an investing entity that would not be controlled by any one individual, but by shareholders voting based on their stakes on a blockchain. This would reduce transaction costs by obviating the need for a management team.130 Don Tapscott & Alex Tapscott, The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services, HARV. BUS. REV. (May 10, 2016), cial-services [https://perma.cc/ES9W-XHPX]. The entity was funded with $150 million.131 Coy & Kharif, supra note 120. Soon after this money was raised, about $40 million of those funds were diverted from the organization by a hacker who used the code in an unanticipated way.132 Izabella Kaminska, Legal Exploits and Arbitrage, DAO Edition, FIN. TIMES (June 21, 2016), trage-dao-edition/ [https://perma.cc/DW5A-KTVY]. Strictly speaking, however, the hacker did not hack the code in a malicious way, but rather used the terms of the existing smart contracts to accomplish something others later found objectionable, i.e. the diversion of their money.133 Id. Consider this using a legal loophole to effect a result that was clearly within the letter of the law, but not within its spirit.134 Id.Another example of smart contracts enabling novel corporate-governance procedures is the use of prediction contracts. A prediction contract is a binary option contract whose value is contingent on an events occurrence.135 Prediction Market, WIKIPEDIA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_market (last visited Feb. 13, 2016) [https://perma.cc/3DNG-PPLE]. These contracts are often cited as predictors of presidential elections, where market participants buy and sell contracts in accord with shifting beliefs in a candidates probability of being elected.136 Adam Mann, The Power of Prediction Markets, NATURE (Oct. 18, 2016), http://www.nature.com/news/the-power-of-prediction-markets-1.20820 [https://perma.cc/V8QF-CRUD]. But, they can also be viewed as a form of smart contract that can be executed on a blockchain without any input from a single third party. In many credit default swaps, for instance, a third party, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, will determine whether a credit event has been triggered.137 Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee Rules, INTL SWAPS & DERIVATIVES ASSOC. (2016), __Jan_2016_Update.pdf [https://perma.cc/8HRK-LKU3]. With a smart contract using a decentralized blockchain for authorization, a network itself can verify whether an event took place and whether the contract will pay out. This has applications in the realm of corporate governance, where decisions can be automated based on discrepancies between the option price and the stock price, directing a board of directors to take one course of action over another.138 Robin Hanson, Markets for Telling CEOs to Step Down, GMU.EDU (Apr. 26, 1996), http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/dumpceo.html [https://perma.cc/Q6QD-4H4G]. These contracts also act as a potential hedge of political or event risk for companies, see also MICHAEL ABRAMOWICZ, PREDICTOCRACY: MARKET MECHANISMS FOR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DECISION MAKING 87.Limiting PrinciplesThe above has shown the benefits that come from judicial recognition and enforcement of smart contracts. Some of the believers in smart contracts think that these benefits can be appreciated without judicial recognition and enforcement because smart contracts can supplant traditional judicial systems enforced by a centralized state.139 See, e.g., Atzori, Marcella, Blockchain Technology and Decentralized Governance: Is the State Still Necessary? (Dec. 1, 2015) (unpublished manuscript), https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731132 [https://perma.cc/B2F6-8UBX]. This section of the Articleanalyzes the positive question of where the outer-bound of a states acceptance of smart contracts lies. Three examples along a spectrum will demonstrate the degrees to which states and their judicial systems can approach smart contracts. On the one end of the spectrum is permitting the use of smart contracts use and recognizing them in collateral matters, e.g. recognizing a smart contract when going through the probate process. On the other end of the spectrum is prohibiting the use of smart contracts or banning certain forms of contractware. Similar to the manner in which non-smart contracts cover a variety of different agreements employment contracts are different from marriage contracts smart contracts will likely be adapted to cover a wide range of subject matter. The application of a particular contract will likely be relevant to which attitude the courts adopt, much as not all non-smart contracts are the same; employment contracts are different than marriage contracts.Starter interrupter devices are illustrative of the permissive side of the spectrum. As was shown, courts have recognized these devices as legitimate and allowed companies to use them to repossess vehicles, provided there is no violation to external laws, including the Uniform Commercial Codes breach of peace provision and the Bankruptcy Code.140 U.C.C. 9-609. How courts treat violations will likely be instructive. Suppose a starter interrupter is placed in a truck that is essential to a business. Instead of merely shutting the car off, this starter interrupter will permanently damage the cars engine, rendering it unusable, if payments are not received on time. Then, suppose the debtor files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The debtor-in-possession or trustee could charge that the use of the starter interrupter is a violation of an automatic stay, as it is an attempt by the creditor to control the property of the estate, even though the control is automatic and out of the creditors hands.141 11 U.S.C. 362. The question then put to the court is whether starter interrupter can be used at all if they have such potential.A second example in the middle of the spectrum, would be a modern version of Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. In Williams, the court set forth a standard of unconscionability by asking whether the terms of a particular cross-collateralization contract were so unfair that enforcement should be withheld.142 Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co., 350 F.2d 445, 44950 (D.C. Cir. 1965). Imagine, however, that the furniture in that case was installed with contractware that blasted an annoying siren if payment was not received. Further, imagine that this was explicitly agreed to by the debtor ex ante. A court bound by Williams, could easily deem the contract unconscionable. This would leave the court to determine the proper remedy. The court could award damages to account for the harms caused by the automatic execution of the contract, which damaged the collateral in an unacceptable way. In this instance, such a remedy seems appropriate because the damage is not irreparable. It is likely that what the court would do is create a new breaching the of peace doctrine that creditors and the contractware would have to abide by.The final, and most egregious, example is contractware installed into humans. Although certainly a dystopian gedankenexperiment, it is worth imagining a scenario where creditors can install devices into the bodies of debtors and have the device force them into slavery or some state of impaired consciousness if they default. Such a scheme would certainly be unconstitutional as a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment even if the debtors supported the scheme as a way of securing lower interest rates. This is not the interesting question, however. What is worth analyzing is how a court would deal with such installation. Despite consent by each party, the court would likely nullify the contract. But will the court prevent the installation of the contractware into the body? Much more likely than judicial intervention is a legislative solution. States can and have banned objects that are not per se violative of rights, but pose an unacceptable risk to the morals of the community.143 Cf. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coal., 535 U.S. 234, 251 (2002) (The case reaffirmed that where the speech is neither obscene nor the product of sexual abuse, it does not fall outside the protection of the First Amendment.). This can be a legitimate exercise of the police power of the state, such as, for instance, when the government bans the private possession of bazookas.144 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4).What the above illustrates is that smart contracts exist in preexisting legal structures that do not unequivocally value party autonomy with respect to the formation and performance of contracts. The central question, however, is whether the state can use prior restraint to prevent the formation of contracts that have the potential to become contrary to public policy, but are not necessarily contrary to public policy themselves.The likely answer is yes. It is hard to imagine a state sitting idly by while devices are installed to self-enforce contracts that are contrary to the states own interests and policies. Although, the proposition is not black-and-white. When dealing with any question of prior restraint, the magnitude of the mischief must be weighed against the likelihood of its occurrence. The Supreme Courts First Amendment jurisprudence provides a useful model; n that realm, the Court has erred on the side of respecting autonomy and policing ex post.145 See, e.g., Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931). In this instance, contractware ought not be analyzed in toto, but discrete devices and software applications should be evaluated. This evaluation should be based upon the rights implications, as opposed to the particular functions of the contractware device. So, while devices that prevent the usage of personal property could be allowed, implants that enforce unconstitutional contracts or contracts that are unconscionable or void against public policy would not be permitted.These are questions for judges to decide on a case-by-case basis.146 Lichtman, supra note 101, at 257 (arguing that private self-help mechanisms should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis). Common law principles ought to form the background of such analysis.ConclusionThe creators of smart contracts have invited society to a party they are throwing. They say that this party has better food, booze, and music than the party being thrown down the street. But the other party has all of the people, even if the amenities are not as good. Whether society shows up to this new party is an open question. This is because legacy systems exist for a reason. By definition, they work. Both switching costs and uncertainty stand as barriers to the adoption of any new technology. Yet if the value of the new technology is overwhelming, such a change is more likely to occur.One way of reducing uncertainty is by situating the new in the old. While there may be many barriers to the adoption of smart contracts, legal uncertainty need not be one of them. Courts need not upend extant jurisprudence to accommodate smart contracts.. All Rights Reserved. 2016.Privacy | Alumni This is not to say that contracts cannot be executed without computers. In a world without vending machines, in the vast majority of instances, a seller would give the soda once money has been tendered. But introducing humans into the equation does introduce some uncertainty and cost. By some measures, employee theft accounts for over $40 billion a year in the United States. See Anne Fisher, U.S. retail workers are No. 1. .. in employee theft, FORTUNE (Jan. 26, 2015), http://fortune.com/2015/01/26/us-retail-worker-theft/ [https://perma.cc/7F86-G8D3]. The courts would be needed to rectify this, but as mentioned, the costs of litigation, especially for these relatively small amounts (they are likely to be small by their very nature) make such litigation prohibitive.The contract at its most essential can be written in the following way: Seller agrees to release one can of Dr. Browns Cel-Ray Soda if Buyer inserts one Krugerrand into this vending machine. The Seller here is not the vending machine, in contradistinction to our Whiteacre property sale, where Richard was the Seller. Instead, the Seller is effectively outsourcing the contract execution, with the vending machine merely acting as his third-party distribution agent and enforcement mechanism. Buyer inserts his Krugerrand, and vending machine performs by releasing one Cel-Ray Soda.During the transaction, the computer inside of the vending machine is presented with a factual situation, i.e. the insertion of a Krugerrand and selection of Cel-Ray as the Buyers choice. Next, the vending machine applies the contractual rules to the instant case, leading to a judgment output, i.e. dispensing one Cel-Ray Soda, which is the benefit of the bargain. The computer then directs the physical mechanisms of the vending machine to enforce the contract between the Buyer and the Seller. Had the factual situation been slightly different, for example Buyer inserted a penny, then our computer-judge would have rendered a different output and would have directed the vending machine to a different action, i.e. returning the penny without dispensing the Cel-Ray Soda.One reason for the existence of contractware may be the lowering of costs through the ensuring of performance without recourse to the courts.28 The lowering of transaction costs does not mean their abolition. When vending machines malfunction a typical self-help remedy is to pound the machine with a fist in the manner of Fonzie. A manufacturers allowance of this remedy may lower the cost of enforcement by avoiding the courts, but it may also increase the risk of illegitimate whacks to the machine. The point here being that so long as self-help is a less costly alternative than judicial recourse, it is a worthwhile alternative. As we will be shown now, another reason may be the subordination of state authority to individual autonomy. The vending machine demonstrates this clearly in both its utilitarian and utopian purposes.The Radical History of the Vending MachineThe first known reference to a vending machine came in 215 B.C. in Pneumatika, a book by the Greek mathematician, Hero.29 See G.R. SCHREIBER, A CONCISE HISTORY OF VENDING IN THE U.S.A. 9 (Vend 1961). In it, he detailed a machine that dispensed holy water for use in Egyptian temples. The user would put a coin in a particular spot, which would trigger a lever that opened a valve that dispensed the water.30 See SEGRAVE, supra note 35, at 4. Fear of divine retribution would combat the use of fake coins.Although coin-activated snuff and tobacco boxes were used in England in the 17th century, one of the most conceptually important early uses of vending machines was as a means of evading censors.31 Id. at 5. The British bookseller, Richard Carlile, invented a book-dispensing machine so as to avoid prosecution under the countrys libel and sedition laws.32 See id. He had been jailed previously and wanted to avoid any future liability, so the idea was to make it impossible for the Crown to prove that any individual bookseller actually sold the blasphemous material.33 Id. He argued that it was purely a contract between the buyer and the machine with the publisher having no formal involvement.Here is Carliles description of the machine as it appeared in The Republican:Perhaps it will amuse you to be informed that in the new Temple of Reason my publications are sold by CLOCKWORK!! In the shop is the dial on which is written every publication for sale: the purchaser enters and turns the hand of the dial to the publication he wants, when, on depositing his money, the publication drops down before him.34 Richard Carlile, To the Republicans of the Island of Great Britain, REPUBLICAN, No. 16 Vol. V, (Apr. 19, 1822).The Crown, however, was not amused. Use of the device was ineffective and both Carlile and his employee were convicted of selling blasphemous literature through the device.35 See SEGRAVE, supra note 35, at 5. Although unsuccessful in this instance, the vending machine demonstrated its ability both to help achieve political and economic ends.36 Opposition to the Crowns system of licensure and seditious libel laws were some of the driving forces behind the First Amendment. MICHAEL PAULSEN ET AL., THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES 839-49 (2d ed. 2013). The fact that Carlile flaunted his attempts to evade prosecution would make this an easy case for the court, but this articlediscussed belowwill deal with the theoretical question of how a court should approach a less flagrant smart contractor. Before moving onto this question, a second technological advancement will be highlighted.Decentralized LedgersAs mentioned above, contractware solves the problem of performing contracts by eliminating the human element ex post. From a technical sense, if nothing intervenes to prevent the machine from working, then, by definition, it will ensure performance. Yet a machine owned by one of the parties of a contract does not solve the problem of interpreting or writing the contract. The problem, briefly stated, is that an independent third party must interpret the contract in accord with the intentions of the parties.37 This is not to say that courts try to divine out party intent to the exclusion of the text of the contract, but rather contract law is about agreements between autonomous parties whose intentions are the foundation of the agreement. This is a problem that public courts often try to solve. Another solution to this problem is blockchain technology.A blockchain is a decentralized collection of data that is verified by members of a peer-to-peer network.38 For an explanation of the mechanics of a blockchain, see Rainer Bohme et al., Bitcoin: Economics, Technology, and Governance, 29 J. ECON. PERSPECTIVES 213, 213-238 (2015). The concept most famously arose in the context of bitcoin, where the data collection is a ledger of time-stamped financial transactions.39 See Nakamoto, supra note 5, at 2, 4. The bitcoin blockchain, like all others, is a solution to the double-spend problem, a variation of the above problem of human interpretation and the possibility of judging ones own case.40 See Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Distributed Double Spending Prevention, ARXIV (2008), https://arxiv.org/pdf/0802.0832.pdf [https://perma.cc/PSX3-MG4D] (describing double spending as the risk that many copies of the same bitstring are spent at different merchants.).Modern industrial society requires trust. As an example, Americans generally trust that corrupt officials have not doctored the states real property records. If a malicious county clerk were to forge a deed, it could cause all sorts of problems for bona fide property owners. Although this is not a huge problem in the developed world indeed, our world is developed because this is not a huge problem in countries with less of a commitment to the rule of law and property rights, property recordation is a problem. Citizens in other countries do not have such trust.41 Laura Shin, Republic of Georgia to Pilot Land Titling on Blockchain with Economist Hernando de Soto, Bitfury, FORBES (Apr. 21, 2016), fury/#1dc086c26550 [https://perma.cc/Q9UD-WNE6]; see also Kenneth W. Dam, Land, Law and Economic Development (John M. Olin Law & Econ., Working Paper No. 272, 2006).Another example of faith that is placed in centralized institutions is in the banking system. Americans generally trust our banking institutions to keep an accurate reading of the balance on our checking accounts. While these banks have redundancies in the form of backup servers, they are still centralized institutions and, in some sense, judges in their own cases until brought before a court. If a bank asserts an individual has a balance of $1,000 and the individual claims a balance of $10,000, then a third party is likely needed to adjudicate the dispute.This is what blockchains seek to solve: the problem of establishing consensus without the need for a centralized repository of information. Blockchains are decentralized collections of data. The unit of a blockchain is a block, which contains certain information, such as credits and debits or property ownership. A block is verified by a large number of computers in a network, called nodes, and then tacked on to the previously verified blocks. This chain of data blocks is known as a blockchain.42 See generally, Bohme, supra note 47.A well-known blockchain is the Bitcoin blockchain; it encodes data that has a market capitalization of $9 billion as of August 28, 2016.43 Market Capitalization, BLOCKCHAIN.INFO, https://blockchain.info/charts/market-cap (last visited Aug. 28, 2016) [https://perma.cc/BYF2-LBYD]. The data stored on each block consists of transactions, which are debits and credits to bitcoin accounts. Murray paid Reuben 10 bitcoins on March 2 at 4 p.m. is an example of a transaction that would be recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain.44 The block would not include the proper names Murray and Reuben, but rather their public addresses. One such public address is: 15KGAfhff1B15nsrhbLYHH9WpHvpCaKPK5. That block of data would then be verified by a large number of nodes and then tacked on to the previous chain, so that the blockchain would be one block longer. As it currently exists, the Bitcoin network has amassed the worlds largest amount of computing power.45 Reuven Cohen, Global Bitcoin Computing Power Now 256 Times Faster than Top 500 Supercomputers Combined, FORBES (Nov. 28, 2013), 828b7 [https://perma.cc/6BWX-9E2C]; Eric Limer, The Worlds Most Powerful Computer Network Is Being Wasted on Bitcoin, GIZMODO (May 13, 2013), was-504503726 [https://perma.cc/N8ZG-R4AF].What makes the Bitcoin blockchain novel is that it relies on a decentralized network to verify the data as valid according to a set of shared rules. Information already contained in a verified blockchain cannot be overwritten without reaching consensus with the entire network to propagate the altered information. So, while this is not to say that the invalid data cannot be posted, a strong effort is needed to do so.46 See, e.g., Michael del Castillo, Ethereum Executes Blockchain Hard Fork to Return DAO Funds, COINDESK (July 20, 2016), dao-investor-funds/ [https://perma.cc/S2DV-7FZE]. In the case of a single bookkeeping instrument, all a malicious actor would have to do to credit himself a million dollars would be to gain access to the instrument. The security of the Bitcoin blockchain and other blockchains is beyond the scope of this Article. Although this has been borne out by recent history, it is an assumption of this paper that individuals will trust blockchains.47 See, e.g., The Trust Machine, ECONOMIST (Oct. 31, 2015), in-could-transform-how-economy-works-trust-machine [https://perma.cc/K5UB-7EV6].The implications for the smart contract are that terms of the contract and the state of facts relating to the performance of the contract can be programmed into a decentralized blockchain that cannot be overridden by any individual malicious or mistaken node. If millions of computers verified that Murray paid Reuben $100 on March 2 at 4 p.m. and these computers are disinterested and do not make computational mistakes, then one can assume with an exceptionally large degree of certainty that Murray did, in fact, pay Reuben $100 on March 2nd at 4 p.m.48 It is possible to nearly instantaneously transfer from U.S. dollars into bitcoins, such that there is an identity between $10 and some amount of bitcoins that would actually be recorded on the blockchain or in the records maintained by the provider of the merchant service.The implications are vast.49 David Yermack, Corporate Governance and Blockchains, J. FIN. (forthcoming Jan. 2017), http://ssrn.com/abstract=2700475 [http://perma.cc/F8VY-CHRL]. Stock recordation, corporate governance, and auditing have all been proposed as areas where blockchains can increase efficiency. Whether the benefits of adopting blockchains outweigh the costs of doing so is beyond the scope of this article.The starter interrupter combined with a decentralized ledger offers a powerful example of the combination between these two technologies. Instead of programming the contractware so that its inputs and outputs are determined and executed by the creditors software, a cars contractware can be programmed so that its inputs and outputs are determined and executed by a neutral blockchain. Suppose the relevant term of the contract is that If Murray does not pay Reuben $100 by March 2nd at 4 p.m., then Murrays car will be rendered immobile, and Reuben can repossess. The contractware will search the blockchain for such a transaction, and if it finds it, will allow the car to start. If it does not find such a transaction, it will prevent the car from starting. Neither of the parties must trust the other for the contract to be performed. They must trust the disinterested blockchain, which is capable of enforcing the relevant terms.The contractware reifies the terms of the contract in such a way that technology can compel performance. The decentralized ledger ensures that such contractware operates in an independent manner, free from the problems of self-help. It therefore makes sense to call it a smart contract because it is able to do more than a traditional contract. It can endogenously enforce an ex ante bargain (contractware) and can also allow neutral, third-party enforcement (decentralized ledger).History of the Idea and Some Preliminary ObservationsSmart contracts have existed long before they were consciously described as such. They are the result of human action, not human design.50 ADAM FERGUSON, AN ESSAY ON THE HISTORY OF CIVIL SOCIETY 305 (5th ed. 1767). This means that contracting parties were incentivized to lower costs without consciously heeding the advice of academics.51 Example of smart contracts throughout history abound. See infra pp pages 15-16. More contemporary uses include subway tokens, bike sharing programs, and E-ZPass.Smart contracts were first described by lawyer and technologist, Nick Szabo, in 1997.52 Nick Szabo, Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks, 2 FIRST MONDAY (1997), http://ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/548/469 [https://perma.cc/EWU2-VM35] (discussing the refinement of smart contracts since the early 1990s); see also Mark S. Miller, Computer Security as the Future of Law, Presentation on Aug. 15, 1997, http://www.caplet.com/security/futurelaw/; f0fe84ec57af [https://perma.cc/W49B-S4WU] Szabo defines smart contracts as contractual clauses embedded into hardware and software in such a way that makes breach more expensive.53 See Szabo, supra note 17. (The basic idea behind smart contracts is that many kinds of contractual clauses (such as collateral, bonding, delineation of property rights, etc.) can be embedded in the hardware and software we deal with, in such a way as to make breach of contract expensive (if desired, sometimes prohibitively so) for the breacher.). He provides two examples: vending machines and devices for repossessing automobile-collateral. By decreasing the costs of mediation, self-enforcement, and arbitration, Szabo saw smart contracts as representing a fundamental shift in the world away from paper and towards digital systems, like the banking backed by computers and digital databases.54 Id. This shift was not to take place immediately, however, as Szabo recognized the value of the long history of paper.55 Id.Long before Szabo, however, financial institutions were using computer code to facilitate transactions, like options contracts and bookkeeping.56 John Markoff, Hewitt D. Crane, 81, Early Computer Engineer, Is Dead, N.Y. Ts (Jun. 21, 2008), http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/21/us/21crane.html [https://perma.cc/G6PZ-WS5D]. The real breakthrough for smart contracts came with the advent of bitcoin and the proliferation of blockchain technology. First proposed in 2008, the Bitcoin protocol was a successful experiment in the mass usage of decentralized ledgers, which form an important basis of smart contracts.57 Max Raskin, Realm of the Coin: Bitcoin and Civil Procedure, 20 FORDHAM J. CORP. & FIN. L. 969, 971 (2015).The proliferation of decentralized ledgers led to a new discussion of using technology to enforce agreements between individuals without recourse to third parties. New companies and protocols have aggregated the essential code to write smart contracts. This code exists apart from the bitcoin ecosystem. These new companies are building an ecosystem for experimentation with an implementation of smart contracts.58 See, e.g., Gavin Wood, Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger (Apr. 2014) (unpublished manuscript), http://gavwood.com/paper.pdf [https://perma.cc/6C8D-3CB8]; Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum: A Next-Generation Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Application Platform, BITCOIN MAGAZINE (Jan. 24, 2014), DJQ8-NB7P]. There has been a proliferation of writing about the subject, mostly from a technical or financial perspective.59 See Aaron Wright & Primavera De Filippi, Decentralized Blockchain Technology and the Rise of Lex Cryptographia (March 10, 2015) (unpublished manuscript), http://ssrn.com/abstract=2580664 [https://perma.cc/2UGR-ZFFF] (describing and analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of decentralized technology, and predicting the rise of a Lex Cryptographia, which they define as rules administered through self-executing smart contracts and decentralized (autonomous) organizations.).Place in Existing Contract LawA contract is a legally enforceable agreement.60 RESTATEMENT (FIRST) OF CONTRACTS 1 (1932). The novel issue of smart contracts is what happens when an agreement can be enforced not by public law enforcers, but through the terms and mechanisms set forth in the terms of the contract itself. The typical legal action for breach of contract involves an aggrieved party going to a court of law or equity to demand money damages, restitution, or specific performance.61 Id. at 326. With a smart contract, the aggrieved party will need to go to the court to remedy a contract that has already been executed or is in the process of being performed. This is because, by definition, a strong smart contract is already executed or in the process of being executed by the time the court hears the case. So the remedy must come after the fact to undo or alter the agreement in some way.The three phases of contract law this section will address are formation, performance, and breach. Each of these phases will be covered to understand how these new contracts can be placed in the context of traditional doctrines and concepts.FormationThe initial stage of a contractual agreement is not markedly different between smart and traditional contracts. This is because before any contractware can operate, two parties must agree to some set of terms that initiates the program.62 Id. at 3. In the realm of smart contracts, unlike traditional contracts, acceptance comes through performance. An individual can say they will initiate a smart contract, which may be a contract in regular law, but until the program initiates, there is no smart contract. Smart contract code can be posted to a ledger as an offer though. Once an action is taken to initiate acceptance, such as by ceding control over a certain amount of money to the code, the contract is formed.Just as there is bargained-for consideration in a traditional contract, there is consideration in a smart contract. One of the reasons for have the doctrine of consideration is that courts believe that mutuality of obligation distinguishes a contract from a gift, for which parties do not have the same rights of legal enforcement.63 Val D. Ricks, In Defense of Mutuality of Obligation: Why Both Should Be Bound, or Neither, 78 NEB. L. REV. 491, 494 (1999) (Courts have held a promise traded for another promise to be enforceable for well over 400 years, since the early to mid-1500s. Courts currently say that a mutual (or reciprocal, or bargained-for) promise constitutes consideration for a promise, causing it to be enforceable.). As will be shown below, where a gift induces action, that action can serve as a substitute for consideration.64 Id. Smart contracts have the potential to formalize the instances where courts will allow contracts to be enforced. This is because the terms of the smart contract are explicitly laid out and each sides obligations and benefits are immediately apparently.In a contract, the bargain can be presented unilaterally, like a vending machine, or can be bargained-for as in the terms of a loan agreement.65 Todd D. Rakoff, Contracts of Adhesion: An Essay in Reconstruction, 96 HARV. L. REV. 1173 (1983). But what happens in a smart contract when there is no consideration? A foundational contracts case will be analyzed through the lens of both traditional and smart contracts.In Ricketts v. Scothorn, a grandfather promised to his granddaughter a sum of money, inducing her to quit her job. The grandfather dies and the executor of the estate refuses to pay her.66 Ricketts v. Scothorn, 77 N.W. 365 (Neb. 1898). The granddaughter brought an action against the executor of his estate, claiming that she relied on the grandfathers promise. The court held that the daughter could recover money damages because she detrimentally relied on the promise of her grandfather.67 Id.But imagine a situation where the grandfather wrote into the gift-promise code that he or his estate could retain the right to change his mind or explicitly wrote into the code that he or his estate could not change his mind. This would be done using a smart contract. In this instance, it would be impossible for the grandfather to change his mind if the computer program did not allow for a change. The grandfather then writes the terms of this gift-promise into computer language that is readable by his bank including terms that do not allow for revocation.An ability to write into the code options to change ones mind or the mind of ones assignees would make the doctrine of detrimental reliance less important because recipients of gifts could demand that their gifts come with a promise of finality; thus, the ability to recant the promise becomes a disclosed term of the contract. In Ricketts, it is likely that the grandfather would have happily tied his executor to the mast. If the counterparty did not give this additional promise in the code, then the gift recipient would be able to act accordingly; if the counterparty did give the promise, rights are more clearly defined.Smart contracts solve the problem of gift-promises by giving both the promisor and promisee the ability to encode finality so that parties can organize their behaviors around a mechanical certainty or lack thereof.Instead of going to court to ask the state to enforce the contract, the parties can agree to a cheaper enforcement mechanism. This is the method by which smart contracts reduce transaction costs. In the realm of wills and estates, like in Ricketts, smart contracts can be of particularly high value because they will bind the hands of the executor to the will of the testator, with little room for deviation.Some of the most difficult problems of early contract law involved defenses of misunderstanding and mistake.68 See, e.g., E. Allan Farnsworth, Meaning in the Law of Contracts, 76 YALE L.J. 939 (1967); E. Allan Farnsworth, Precontractual Liability and Preliminary Agreements: Fair Dealing and Failed Negotiations, 87 COLUM. L. REV. 217 (1987). With respect to interpretation, the use of computer code has the potential to minimize future conflicts over terms.69 This potential is not certain, as examples of fraud abound in the world of computer code. We discuss the DAO incident is discussed below, infra p. 37. Much like contracts of adhesion, many lay individuals will not comb through the code of their contract. But like open source software, granting everyone access to potentially review the code is a strong bulwark against fraud. Code can minimize, but not completely erase these problems because humans and their misunderstandings of code could provide a basis for contract rescission. In Raffles v. Wichelhaus a controversy arose over a cotton shipment contract when two ships named Peerless could both fulfill the terms; one party claimed he intended one ship, the other party, the other.70 Raffles v. Wichelhaus, 2 H. & C. 906 (1864). Such problems are virtually non-existent now, at least in the shipping world, but for similar problems that may exist, the precision of cryptographic identifiers is able to dispatch with such issues.71 David Wu et al, Privacy, Discovery, and Authentication for the Internet of Things (Feb. 28, 2017) (unpublished manuscript), https://crypto.stanford.edu/~dwu4/papers/PrivateIoTFull.pdf [https://perma.cc/PXQ6-ZGMY]. Although ambiguity certainly exists in programming languages, these ambiguities are less than in the real world because of the fact that there are simply fewer terms that a computer can recognize than a human can recognize.72 While computer code is subject to the same human error that written language is, it is much less subject to uncertainty. Two humans may read the same words and ascribe different meaning. Two compatible computers reading the same piece of code will not, although that code may not be the correct code that was meant to be written by the programmer; average adults have a vocabulary of between 20,000 and 35,000 words. See Vocabulary size: Lexical Facts, ECONOMIST (May 29, 2013), http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2013/05/vocabulary-size [https://perma.cc/UQV4-3W32]. Because computer programs are written by humans, anything a human can write into code, a human can at least recognize as a word or signifier.Ambiguity is celebrated in human language. It is a central feature of literature, poetry, and humor. Ambiguity is anathema to computer language. An ambiguous computer language is a nonsensical concept because the predictability of computers is what gives part of their value; imagine a computer that was asked, what is 1 and 1 it randomly returned either two or 11. Although it is debatable whether every contract can be translated into machine language, many of them can be.73 See, e.g., Ian Grigg, The Ricardian Contract, IANG http://iang.org/papers/ricardian_contract.html (last visited Apr. 1, 2017) [https://perma.cc/8PS3-YCLP]. When lawyers or the programmers they hire write contracts in code, there is less of a chance for ambiguity than in natural language if only for the simple fact that artificial language must be complete and predefined, whereas natural language is infinite.74 See CARL A. GUNTER, SEMANTICS OF PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES: STRUCTURES AND TECHNIQUES, 4 (Perhaps the most basic characteristic of the distinction is the fact that an artificial language can be fully circumscribed and studied in its entirety.); John W.L. Ogilvie, Defining Computer Program Parts Under Learned Hands Abstractions Test, 91 MICH. L. REV. 526 (1992), http://digital-law-online.info/misc/ogilvie.htm [https://perma.cc/58SG-HC6U]. That is to say a person can walk around and verbally recite lines of code and people can at least understand what he is saying; a machine cannot understand human language that it is not programmed to understand. All of this is simply to say that the problem of ambiguity is reduced in the smart contract context.Finally, all of the usual defenses to formation of a contract also apply in the realm of smart contracts, although as will be seen later, enforcing the remedy against a strong smart contract may prove problematic to a court. Take unconscionability and illegality, for instance. If a vending machine were to sell alcohol to minors or sell alcohol in a dry jurisdiction, then the contract could be voided as illegal.75 Modern Cigarette, Inc. v. Town of Orange, 774 A.2d 969, 97071 (Conn. 2001). As will be discussed, the remedies will be either ex post through legal action or ex ante through regulation. In this instance, the illegal contract can either be policed through a prohibition on alcoholic vending machines76Or a prohibition on filling the vending machines with illegal substances. or a system of preclearance where a drivers license scanner or some mechanism are required to ensure compliance with age requirements. Similarly, suppose the vending machine charged $1,000 for a can of Coke and a court were to find this to be substantively unconscionable. The remedies would again either be in damages or in policing the use of such vending machines before the contract could be formed.Because the possibility of policing and damages exist, the issues of contract formation are largely the same in the traditional and smart contract world. The main difference is in the precision with which terms can be defined and inserted. Ambiguities must be taken care of by a functioning program and there is no I do not know. The history of computing shows that programs do not always operate as their designers expect, but when code is executed, the code does operate.77 This is true of human contracts too, at least in the sense that something always happens. But with code these happenings are predetermined and predictable and therefore parties can have certainty to organize around. Although the actual output of a smart contract may differ from the intentions of the parties, this system provides a more optimal first approximation. This is because computer code can be predicted according to a set of rules, whereas the ambiguity in human interpretation is less robotic by definition.Performance and ModificationA contract can be performed, modified, or breached. This section addresses performance and modification issues.The performance phase is made easier with smart contracts as they offer a tool to solve ambiguity problems addressed above. A potential problem here, however, comes with imperfect performance. Courts in the United States do not demand perfect performance for a contract to be recognized and enforced.78 See RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS 237 cmt. d (1981). The common law doctrine of substantial performance permits a contract to be recognized even if the performance does not fully comport with the express terms laid out.79 Id. This is the kind of leeway that a computer program cannot recognize because it involves an outcome that was not contemplated and specified by the parties. Imagine, for instance, a contract for a painting that is contingent on the reasonable personal satisfaction of the buyer. One way parties can deal with this is by baking in a certain degree of discretion into the terms of the contract initially or by simply not using a smart contract if discretion is a necessary part of the contract. However, if the terms were to diverge from what the law recognizes, the law would have to again decide between ex ante and ex post solutions to the problem.Most conceptually challenging, however, is how smart contracts will deal with modification. The law recognizes certain excuses that will absolve a party from performance or require some sort of modification.80 See, e.g., RESTATEMENT (FIRST) OF CONTRACTS 456 (1932). Impossibility and impracticability are two such excuses. When a contract becomes illegal after it is formed, then the parties can be excused from performance and there is generally no remedy for an aggrieved party.81 See id. at 598. This poses a problem for the smart contract.There needs to be a method by which smart contracts can be updated to incorporate changes that may be required by the evolving legal landscape. Suppose that at the time of contract formation, the time a debtor needs to be in default for the creditor to repossess is 30 days and that after the contract is executed, a legislature changes the law requiring that time period to be 90 days.82 Other examples of changing provisions include retroactive protection for veterans against foreclosure. See, e.g., 50 U.S.C.A. 3958. There are numerous ways of addressing this situation, ranging from state-backed to purely private. One method could be a system in which the relevant jurisdiction creates a publicly available database and application programming interface (API) of relevant legal provisions. These would be provisions related to the terms of the contract. The smart contract would call these terms and would be able to update those provisions terms in accord with the jurisdictions update of the database.83 Updating the code of a smart contract is a technically difficult task, but for the purposes of this paper, it will be assumed that it will become possible.Another method would be through ex post policing of the parties; this puts the burden on the parties or their agents to update the code. The benefit of this option is that there is no need to rely on the third-party government to create a new infrastructure, while the downside is that the parties themselves can potentially unilaterally change the terms of the contract, which is one of the problems smart contracts try to rectify. This could be obviated by leaving certain terms of the contract modifiable, while restricting others from modification. That payment is necessary could be an immutable term, whereas the length of time a debtor has before he is in default could be modifiable. This suggests that government APIs may have a master override over contract terms, which reflect the application of prevailing law over contracts in certain circumstances.84 Further, a similar override can be installed as between federal and state governments, as the software of the Supremacy Clause. U.S. CONST. art. VI, cl. 2.Finally, computer programs are regularly written with the option of inserting code later. Only those contracts that would involve some kind of irrevocability would force courts hands. This is because a court would be tasked with enforcing a law that would override the terms of the contract; there would be conflicting dictates. Party autonomy does not trump all other values in state-based legal systems.Enforcement, Breach, and RemediesThe central problem in the final question of contract law is what happens when the outcomes of the smart contract diverge from the outcomes that the law demands. Above are numerous examples where the technical outcome of the smart contract would not be permitted by a court under existing law, e.g. the heroin vending machine.As a threshold, it is possible that contract law and the actual written contracts would have influence on each other so as to minimize these divergences. Courts are going to be more likely to enforce smart contract terms because the courts will have more certainty as to party intent because the parties explicitly laid out their terms. Smart contracts drafters are going to be more likely to write smart contracts that comport with extant law and write terms that are variable to accommodate future changes in the law. The terms of a lease, for instance, will change to accommodate the property law of the jurisdiction. Additionally, torts could emerge for negligent coding or negligent update that would further ensure smart contracts are drafted in accord with existing legal standards. But what happens when these forces are not enough to overcome the divergence?It is a good rule of thumb that the entity with more guns wins. Here, governments generally have more guns than private parties and so the states courts are in a position of enforcing their law over the private law. Enforcement either occurs before or after the damage has occurred. This damage is not to either of the contracting parties because they are getting, by definition, their bargain.85 It may be the case, as with the decentralized autonomous organization, that the parties regret their decisions ex post. But in their agreement, the code was the code they signed on to. Instead, the damage is done to the exogenous laws of the society and not the parties themselves.86 Damage may also be done to efficiencysmart contracts prohibit or make more costly efficient breach. If two parties contract to buy liquor, both are satisfied with the bargain ex ante. If one of those parties is below the drinking age, he is still satisfied with the bargain. The only one ex ante not satisfied is the government and the government is in a position to respond to that dissatisfaction in some way.In the United States and other common law systems, ex post enforcement is the preferred system and there are many reasons to believe why this is a system conducive to greater prosperity and vibrancy.87 Samuel Issacharoff, Regulating after the Fact, 56 DEPAUL L. REV. 375, 377-78 (2007). In the sections below this article will discuss the merits of these two positions, but here it suffices to say that the two likely categories are regulation/policing and criminal/civil actions. There is a spectrum on which these remedies should be offered. In the United States, it is the exception that the government bans certain objects because their possession is per se problematic for society. Automatic weapons and child pornography both fall into this category.88 18 U.S.C. 922. If the government does not take this tack, then it is largely left with ex post enforcement.Some unenforceable contracts result in criminal prosecutions, while some result in non-enforcement.89 See RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS 178 (1981). It is too speculative at this point to see how the governments will respond to smart contracts because these technologies have yet to reach a level that requires a government response. They may not reach this level because individuals may not want to change their current contracting patterns because they are fine with the level of leeway and ambiguity that currently exists. It is unlikely, for example, that individuals will want to implant mini-bombs in themselves to ensure compliance with credit card payment. Because egregious bargains like those using the mini-bomb are unusual, it is likely that responses to unenforceable private contracts will remain in the ex post phase and tend towards civil, not criminal enforcement.It will be helpful to solidify the above discussion in a law that is embryonic, but at least extant: starter interrupters.Case Study: Starter InterruptersThe existence of a public court system is the antithesis of private self-help because the parties seek external recourse from a third party.90 For a discussion of self-help see infra p. 31. There are reasons for this, including a desire to prevent might from making right.91 Cf. Kirby v. Foster, 22 A. 1111, 1112 (R.I. 1891) (The law does not permit parties to take the settlement of conflicting claims into their own hands.). But recourse to courts is not without its costs.92 Douglas Lichtman, How the Law Responds to Self-Help, 1 J.L. ECON. & POLY 215, 257 (2005). Forcing a landlord to go through a lengthy eviction process raises the costs for non-breaching tenants, for example.93 Cf. Berg v. Wiley, 264 N.W.2d 145, 148 (Minn. 1978) (awarding tenant $31,000 for lost profits and $3540 for lost chattels resulting from a wrongful lockout). The situation is similar to when automobiles are collateral. In an attempt to increase recovery rates for their collateral, automobile lenders have turned to using devices called starter interrupters.94 See Michael Corkery & Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car, N.Y. TIMES DEAL BOOK (Sept. 24, 2014), k-moving-that-car/?_r=0 [https://perma.cc/ZK4J-J96R] (This is not technically a smart contract because the creditor here has discretion, but as the technology proliferates and this becomes automated, the salient features are the same in this nascent state, so it is an appropriate case study.)Starter interrupters are an archetypical example of a smart contract and how the law deals with them is instructive in crafting appropriate legal regimes. A starter interrupter is a device that is installed in an automobile that allows for a remote party to prevent the engine from starting.95 Kwesi D. Atta-Krah, Preventing A Boom from Turning Bust: Regulators Should Turn Their Attention to Starter Interrupt Devices Before the Subprime Auto Lending Bubble Bursts, 101 IOWA L. REV. 1187, 1191 (2016). It allows a user who controls the starter interrupter to remotely shut off an automobile. These devices often also include global position systems, so that the collateral can be located.96 Id. The New York Times reported on an Arizona company, C.A.G. Acceptance Corporation, which offers its automobile loans on a condition that if the debtor is in default, the company reserves the right use the device to prevent the car from starting.97 Corkery & Silver-Greenberg, supra note 103. Such devices are estimated to be installed in over two million automobiles.98 Id.; see also Sydney Ember, Morning Agenda: Devices Fuel Subprime Auto Boom, N.Y. TIMES DEAL BOOK (Sept. 24, 2014), fuel-subprime-auto-boom/?_php=true&_type=blogs [https://perma.cc/J68M-E6B9]. The analogy to the housing crisis is inapt because the marginal loans given out are based solely on the new ability to repossess or have assurances about collateral. There does not seem to be evidence that lenders are extrapolating the marginal increase in recovery rate to a greater belief in the value of the collateral, for instance. Auto lenders generally do not believe that their collateral will appreciate in value with usage; there are standardized depreciation schedules in contrast with the value of real estate.There are a number of safeguards to the power of the starter interrupters that companies use to ensure that there are not egregious problems with their use.99 Eric L. Johnson & Corinne Kirkendall, Starter Interrupt and GPS Devices: Best Practices, PASSTIME GPS (Jan. 14, 2016), es/ [https://perma.cc/7QSU-A6UU]. For instance, a starter interrupter cannot disengage a car while it is currently running, which would have the obvious potential of causing accidents. The starter interrupter can be manually overridden with a code in certain instances in cases where life and limb are at stake. The creditor can give a sheet of a number overwrite codes, each of which can only be used once to prevent abusing the leniency for exigent circumstances. These common-sense exceptions to the power of the starter interrupters are included in best practices guidelines for the industry.100 Eric L. Johnson & Corinne Kirkendall, GPS & Payment Assurance Technology: Are You Compliant?, PASSTIME (2015), NABD_PAT_GPS_Compliance_Presentation_1.2015.pdf [https://perma.cc/GC7C-XPSZ]. This would allow the companies to comply with existing law that prevents, for instance, tortious conduct on highways.The cost of locating and then repossessing automobiles is a significant one and the starter interrupter, a form of contractware, is a powerful tool to drive down these transaction costs. This technology is currently being used and developed by creditors who are able to increase their collection rates by locating their collateral and preventing its misuse.Some critics view such use by creditors to collect collateral as unfair to those debtors who rely on the collateral for transportation to work.101 Corkery & Silver-Greenberg, supra note 103. Other critics in response point to the lower interest rates that debtors can afford because of the increased rates of recovery and therefore the systemically lower credit risk.102 Thomas Hudson, The Consumer Wins Argument For Starter Interrupt Devices, AUTO DEALER MONTHLY (Aug. 2006), /08/the-consumer-wins-argument-for-starter-interrupt-devices.aspx [https://perma.cc/XAQ7-QC5Z]. This debate is beyond the scope of this article, but if there is an economic incentive for both creditors and debtors to use these devices, the law will be forced and indeed has been forced to determine the legality of their use.Contract law is generally governed by states and there is no preempting federal law specifically dealing with starter interrupters,103 Atta-Krah, supra note 104, at 1201 (federal regulations do not provide any direct guidance relating to the use of SIDs by auto dealers and lenders.); Consumer Information: Vehicle Repossession, FED. TRADE COMMN, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0144-vehicle-repossession (last visited Jan. 13, 2016) [https://perma.cc/HM9D-GRT9] (noting that [d]epending on [the borrowers] contract with the lender and [the borrowers] states laws, [a lenders use of an SID] may be considered the same as a repossession or a breach of the peace). but there is not much state law applicable to contractware. As one recent survey of the extant law concluded, generallySIDs [starter interrupter devices] may be legal in most states due to the secured partys right to the self-help repossession provisions of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) section 9-609.104 Atta-Krah, supra note 104, at 1207.Section 9-609 of the Uniform Commercial Code, as adopted in various forms by the states, governs self-help of secured creditors. The UCC gives a secured creditor the right to either take possession of the collateral or render equipment unusable without judicial process so long as the action proceeds without breach of the peace.105 U.C.C. 9-609. A rich case law exists on what constitutes a breach of the peace, and as will be shown below, it will not be difficult to fit starter interrupters into this existing corpus.California, Colorado, and Connecticut all explicitly affirm the legality of starter interrupters but place certain restrictions on their use.106 See Colo. Rev. Stat. 4-9-609(e); 4-9-629; Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. 42-419; 42a-2A-702; 42a-9-609; Cal. Civ. Code 2983.37. The primary concerns of the state legislatures are both that the debtor has notice that the device has been installed and has a right to cure the breach.The rights of debtors under the Bankruptcy Code add another wrinkle in the straightforward use of starter interrupters. A bankruptcy court
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of man depends on the early construction of an ultra-intelligent machine. In order to design an ultra-intelligent machine we need to understand more about the human brain or human thought or both. …
of man depends on the early construction of an ultra-intelligent machine. In order to design an ultra-intelligent machine we need to understand more about the human brain or human thought or both. (Good, n.d,) I.J. Good made the statement thatthe firstultra-intelligent machine will be the last invention of mankind(Good, n.d.). The concept of technological singularity, or super-intelligence both are related to the concept of ultra-intelligence. As we build toward the direction of ever more intelligent machines we must also do everything we can to decentralize ownership. Conceptssuch asdistributedautonomous corporations, distributedautonomous applications,distributedautonomous agents, are some of the game changing concepts which when applied appropriately can result in a decentralization of the ownership of intelligent machines. To facilitate the decentralization process we can use metaphors to help explain it. We can use the language which includes metaphors of such as shares, dividends, stocks, bonds, crypto-equity, crypto-subsidies, transaction fees, demurrage, coins, vouchers, points, credits, stamps, tokens, stakes, or anything else which is necessary to decentralize ownership of the intelligent machines. Adistributedautonomous corporation can be owned by 100 individuals and even if its great conceptually it would benefit too few people.For example currently around half of all of the 12 million+mined Bitcoins as of 2013 are owned by individuals(Wile, 2013).This situation is acceptable provided that there is opportunity for growthand that eventually those who hold those Bitcoins spend it. This is not a technical problem but a public perception problem. The perception is that fewer people are able to benefitif the stakeholders are overly concentrated into the hands of too few people thanif it is more widely distributed. Thiscan negatively affect the perception of fairnessin the systemand this negative perception is apotentialriskwhich can be mitigated through diversification (altcoins withnewblockchains and different ownership distributions). The Internet of Things is expected to grow from 1.9 billion devices today to 9 billion devices by 2018. In the future the majority of workers and of transactions will be thing to thing, machine to machine, robot to robot, rather than person to person. DACs will transact with DACs. This trend may trigger a paradigm shift away from the human labor based system. Protoshares are backed by the goods and services of Invictus Innovations which is honorable as a corporation but the single point of failure would be based around whether or not they uphold their social contract to redeem Protoshares. Social contracts currently do not have legal enforcement so this too represents a potential risk. This risk can be partially mitigated by surety bond functions, collateral, and other yet untested means but ultimately legal means may be a requirement in order for the social contract mechanism to work. The jury is still out. One mechanism which could be beneficial would be to have community owned DACs (decentralized autonomous communities). These DACs would be owned by a specific group to solve a social purpose rather than merely to profit. So if we look at an organization *fill in the blank* then they could have it set up so that their members own 50% of whatever the virtual community owns. The virtual community could for instance provide a dividend to every member using the same social contract that allows for something like Protoshares to provide a dividend to any owner of it. If we use *fill in the blank* as an example then every member of *fill in the blank* would be required to provide Proof of Identity so that it can be verified that they are a real person and this can be accomplished through know your customer. It would also have a side effect of incentivizing individuals to have verified wallets because those wallets would qualify to receive dividends from all *fill in the blank* community owned DACs. Decentralized ownership of smart property, sensors, smart spaces and the Internet of Things To illustrate the concept of a smart space we can start with a smart property such as a smart house. That house has a human owner and that human owner theoretically would also own the private key giving him or her complete ownership of autonomous agents inside the house. Inside of a smart space you may have human beings living with autonomous smart devices which communicate amongst each other. These smart devices run autonomous agentapplications/programs and an autonomous agent is a self directed intelligent application operating on behalf of its owner in this case. A smart house for instance may include all sorts of devices such as smart televisions which shut themselves off when the owner is not in the room or not awake, LED LiFi(McKendrick, 2011)light bulbs which have a dual function as visible light communication devices for the Internet of Things, and of course cryptocurrencies which provide for a unit of account mechanism for human to device and device to device communication. Simultaneous audio video transmission has been achieved utilizing visible light communication (Son, Cho, Moon, Ghassemlooy, Kim, & Lee, 2013) which could allow for a distributed broadcast capability without the use of WiFi signals for instance but this visual light communications channel could also transmit transactions. The idea of payingmicro transactions to thetoasterto make toast while having the profit be distributed as dividends to the shareholders who own the toaster,therefrigerator ortheoven might soundabsurdbut the Internet of Thingsin combination with cryptocurrency based micro transactionsmake it possible today forhumans to pay devices. Thesmart space itself could have its own currency that it operates under andthese devices will be able toeachhave wallets of their own, secure profits of their own to pay for their own upgrades and maintenance,or topay human beings and other devices for services. The car itselfcouldcharge every passenger a micro transaction to pay for gas. If you set the car to drive itself it could charge the driver a micro transactionfee. The car itself could pay for gas while its driving in autonomous mode without the human being having to do it and if its an electric car then the car could sell its electricity to passengers who use it. The ability to transact in micro payments allows for every activity done by man or machine to have its cost accounted for.It also allows for a group or community to own a set of devices and receive a dividend when those devices are used. Sensors throughout a smart house can provide information to the owner of the house as well and these sensors could reveal information about the usage of every device in the house. Every time the stove is turned on, the refrigerator service is used, all these transactions could be logged, charted, graphed, analyzed, and any unusual usage patterns would be detected. Through personal datamining (Gorodetsky, 2013) the smart space itself could even learn to remember the typical usage patterns to know when the owner is in the house or if something might be wrong. Distributed ownerless autonomous, smart devices, sensors, smart spaces and the Internet of Things Just as some smart property will have owners there is also the possibility of having devices which have no individual owner. The device would own itself, pay for itself, and pay humans to maintain, service, upgrade, repair itself. In the case of something like Bitcoin you would say that the people who own the majority of the Bitcoins own it if voting were conducted via Proof of Stake. If we are talking about a DAC then we could say the DAC could be owned by a group of people or even by another DAC. An ownerless autonomous device is autonomous, self owned, and uses human beings in a symbiosis in which human beings gain some value from it either by being paid by it or from its intrinsic value and it profits as a way of increasing that intrinsic value. An example of something like this could be a distributed autonomous smart energy grid which provides the electricity for a town so that the entire town must depend on it but it has no owner and it is solar powered. Its not a DAC because its not a corporation, its profit are strictly to keep it alive and running. Fully automated distributed production network of factories (autonomous manufacturing) Perhaps one of the biggest breakthroughsolutionsof all will be the construction of a fullyautomateddistributed production network ofseedfactories(7.0 Distributed Production Network, n.d.). Ownership in these distributed automated factories can be decentralized and if the shareholders of these automated factories are distributed widely and diversely throughout virtual communal space it is possible to provide the shareholders with a currency backed by the output of these factories which can be traded on a decentralized exchange built on top of the Mastercoin protocol or using colored coin functionality. It is also possible to have ownerless autonomous seed factories which provide for any human being in need. Figure. 1 Community oriented DACs defined A community oriented DAC is any DAC which agrees with the principles of the community it is a member of and which adopts a social contract which promises to the delivery of a agreed upon or voted upon percentage of the profit achieved by that DAC. The distributed autonomous person if it is to be considered an artificial life form can purchase membership within *fill in the blank* by paying the membership fee and receive a *fill in the blank* cryptographic-stamp. That membership fee would be a percentage of ownership of the DAC itself and would translate into a percentage of the profits. The higher the percentage, the more voting rights that DAC should have as a direct sponsor of the *fill in the blank* community and direct contributor to the resiliency of *fill in the blanks* s economic health. DACs which obtain the highly sought after *fill in the blank* stamp should be prioritized within the *fill in the blank* community. Decentralized decision support systems protocol layer (Decision making, voting) This protocol layer will leverage artificial intelligence, DACs, and intelligent machines to offer decision support systems as a service to the user. Decentralized decision support is a way to help a community make mission critical decisions based on the best available information. It can leverage prediction markets, user-contributions and open source intelligence. Ownership without good decision making can lead to very negative outcomes. This decentralized decision support layer should also include a voting mechanism. The voting mechanism must be coercion resistant. It must be crytographically secure. It can achieve greater security by not putting too much weigh or reliance on any specific technology and by using technologies developed for one intended purpose for a dual use. Another mechanism of security is the use of multiple secure channels under the assumption that while all secure channels can be tapped it is unlikely that a single adversary will be able to tap them all at once (Clark & Hengartner, 2012). Additionally, delegated voting must be built into the protocol from the start. Assume the use case scenario of an individual who is kidnapped or arrested, if he has delegated his Proof of Stake vote in advance then his vote including his voting power could be cast on his behalf even if he is sitting in prison. This capability would guarantee that voting rights could not be revoked even in the case of arrest, kidnapping, or demise. Delegated voting adds a redundancy to the system as well as a dead mans switch capability so that the votes cannot locally be stopped through coercion or political persecution. Reality augmentation and alternate reality gaming protocol layer (Needs input from others) The correct way to describe the Resilience Network Project to the layman is to describe it as a serious game. Its a serious game which starts out on the Internet as a movement and then as it develops it should produce from it solutions to economic problems. We solve these problems in the context of an alternate reality game which uses metaphor and story-telling to explain and frame the technological concepts. Reality augmentation can assist journalists in telling and framing the story lines (Pavlik & Bridges, 2013) which should be based on real world economic events in some cases. This would in effect be a trans-media augmented reality based protocol layer which utilizes mechanisms of gamification to increase user interest and participation. For instance the concept of a cryptographic badge system potentially adds both a certification and gamification layer where user contributions can be rewarded by status. This status could be a sense of immorality, fame, prestige, special privileges, additional economic benefits, but in order to unlock these badges the user must earn them. So while the basic layer of the system gives everyone the most fundamental economic benefit or basic dividend, the higher layers of the system should allow even greater rewards. Bonus points could be earned through completing a bounty and those bonus points could be redeemed for the purchase of certain badges. Other badges cannot be purchased and have to be earned. Some badges will come by luck. Some will can only be given when a certain amount of others trust the individual. The gamification layer can serve many different functions and facilitate features such as: Distributed pseudo-anonymous reputation through badges, titles, reviews, tagging, tipping, moderation and more. Distributed autonomous reward distribution (bonus points, contests, bounties, tournaments, and more) The purpose of the gamification layer is to motivate the user to take an active participatory role, to provide a sense of community, to promote continuous development which can initially be crowd funded and then fund itself. (More will be elaborated on this layer at a later date) And it should go beyond just badges. The purpose of the reality augmentation and alternate reality gaming / gamification layer of the protocol is the positive virtualization of the real world. The virtual world does not have the limitations of the real world and while you can model a virtual object after a real world object, a creative person could easily invent a virtual object which could not exist in the real world and create completely new forms of human organization and communication as a result. In the DAC example that is a combination of a natural and unnatural structure but its still based on the concept and legal structure of a corporation in the real world. The reality augmentation and gamification layer could model a completely alien structure. That alien structure could go far beyond the concept of a DAC, but still maintain the fundamental principles behind a DAC. If we think of virtual structures as a type of architecture then the DAC is very much an orthodox structure based around a political or legal concept which very much was created from and modeled from the world as it is today. The purpose behind creating the reality augmentation and alternate reality gaming layer protocol would be to allow a team of artists, philosophers, writers, economists, mathematicians, and designers to all come together to create alternative virtual architectures, schools of thought, conceptual metaphors, mathematical models, while maintaining the fundamental principles. This layer is mainly to unleash creativity toward solving problems leveraging game mechanics. Some software architecture for example is modeled after the behavior of insects, or the animal kingdom. Martial arts were modeled after the animal kingdom. The concept of stealth used in the stealth bomber or the concept of camouflage both were modeled after the animal and insect kingdom. A when dealing with augmented reality, alternate reality gaming, and agent based artificial intelligence and autonomous application is maintaining human values and principles. Informed consent is critical in the design of such systems, and the user must always be in a position to give or revoke their consent. It is also important that these alternate realities, augmented realities, virtual systems and architectures do not select the moral compass of the users but instead help the user to define their moral compass and decision making strategy and then provide a decision support layer so that the user always knows that the system if the system they themselves chose. A creative biomimetic approach to problem solving, unconventional virtual architecture and protocol design (creation of a robust protocol development kit, reference manual, and conceptual tool kit.) The path of least resistance algorithm also known as Dijkstras shortest path algorithm is an example of taking a biomimetic approach to problem solving. To illustrate if you look at an ant colony or the behavior of biological organisms like humans you will find that human travellers or ant colonies typically take the path of least resistance. This also applies to water and electricity which also take the path of least resistance to meet their target. The Dijkstras shortest path algorithm or Fermats principle both describe the same natural phenomena from a slightly different angle. The knapsack problem is an example of a very common resource allocation problem which can be solved by dynamic programming for example. A decentralized protocol cookbook of these sorts of problems and algorithms are essential to forming a protocol design and development toolkit for building unconventional virtual architectures. Almost any solution can be found from a deep study and analysis of nature. The sort algorithm is a common example where you have to order a list of objects. The easiest illustration of a biological version of the sort algorithm is ask the participant to pick up a deck of cards, look at each card and mark it as being read, and then if its a high number you move it to the top of the deck, repeat this process for each card until all have been read then put the deck aside as having been sorted. Any human being instinctively uses this sort algorithm on a daily basis, as well as the path of least resistance algorithm but for computers we must take the actions human beings do in ordinary life, turn them into algorithms and then translate those algorithms into computer code. Ant colony optimization algorithms are also very common solutions for routing algorithms. I will not go into detail about the specifics of these algorithms but this is an example of a natural biological structure (the ant colony) being translated into an algorithm which finally gets turned into source code to become a useful protocol. Since the premise of any protocol design is to start with a problem, the best algorithm is the algorithm which most efficiently and effectively solves the problem and in many cases nature has solved at least certain parts of these problems. If we looked at peer to peer and distributed finance these are solving problems by decentralization which takes advantage of the fact that we are becoming hyper connected as a species. These peer to peer and distributed network protocols leverage hyper connectivity to solve problems. We should also look to leverage intelligent swarms, the shrinking size of computing and sensors, the coming shapelessness of infrastructure which used to be big and clunky. In a hyper connected world no one would have a reason to go to a bank, wait in line, speak to a teller, or any of this. To do that would be going against the principle of taking the path of least effort, least resistance, and it makes no sense to build technologies which try to put the genie back into the bottle while asking people to go to centralized institutional structures when the institution can be distributed, decentralized, and dispersed to the point of being anywhere at once. The bank could be in the cloud, in the air, traversing along the waves of the electromagnetic spectrum or it can be in a fixed centralized location where its easy to attack, easy to corrupt, whether by bank robbery, terrorist attack, or greed. If the bank becomes an autonomous artificial intelligence then its location is where its code is copied. The bank is open 24/7 because it does not have to sleep, and since the teller is an artificial worker (or human but virtual) they dont have to sleep either because if its an artificial worker then its artificial intelligence running where there is electricity and if its humans but distributed around the globe then since they dont all sleep at the same time it is effectively open 24/7. This is not possible to do with a centralized localized bank. At the same time while we must build cook book and tool kit of useful algorithms for the purpose of building much more efficient and better virtual architectures we also should start building up a collection of useful algorithms to solve the specific problem of providing resiliency. This could take the form of providing a basic dividend, it could mean a fee for the use of autonomous agents, or it could be something else, but primarily it is a matter of finding the best algorithms and documenting thee success or failure of these algorithms in experiments. This will have to be an ongoing area of research and an open repository should be constructed specifically for this purpose. Always on, always open source, always transparent, always free (in this section we list some principles which guide what we are trying to do) For security reasons the software should always be open source, open peer review, open to auditing, and the design of any software based on this white paper must promote freedom, security, democracy, decentralization, for the user. The software in effect exists to serve the needs of the user, Human beings are usually the weakest linkandhuman error is the easiest target for hackers or governments to exploit because its sure to appear anywhere humans are involved.Error tolerantprotocoldesignis essential to any long term solution with the assumption that humans will make errors, or be corruptible, but the protocol/system has to withstand that.Part of the necessity for decentralized designs is to provide for fault tolerancemechanismand it is an example of a human error tolerant design because at least it assumes that if a human being rises to the top of a hierarchy the odds are high thatthe power they achieve will ultimately lead to their corruption. It also assumes that humans in power can make mistakes or abuse their power and that it is desirable to avoid giving unnecessary power. If a problem can be solved without empowering human beings to potentially hurt other human beings then it should be solved that way.Behavior shaping constraints are a technique which can be used to provide error tolerant designs. If we remember Murphys law then we know that anything that can go wrong will. If we assume the worst but hope for the best we can mitigate a lot of risks. References Adler, E. (2013, December 7). Heres Why The Internet Of Things Will Be Huge, And Drive Tremendous Value For People And Businesses.Business Insider. Retrieved December 10, 2013, from 0 Albus, J. S. (2011).Path to a better world: A plan for prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice. Bloomington, IN: IUniverse. Albus, J. S. (n.d.). Peoples Capitalism.Peoples Capitalism. Retrieved December 22, 2013, fromhttp://www.peoplescapitalism.org/ Alderman, L. (2013, November 15). Young and Educated in Europe, but Desperate for Jobs.New York Times. Retrieved December, 2013, -in-europe.html AllSeen Alliance. (2013). AllSeen Alliance.The Broadest Cross-industry Effort to Advance the Internet of Everything. Retrieved 2013, fromhttps://allseenalliance.org/ Brooks, S. (2012, June 5). Designing for Resilience | Hot Studio.Designing for Resilience | Hot Studio. Retrieved December 9, 2013, fromhttp://www.hotstudio.com/thoughts/designing-resilience Clark, J., & Hengartner, U. (2012). Selections: Internet voting with over-the-shoulder coercion-resistance. InFinancial Cryptography and Data Security(pp. 47-61). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Eder, D. (n.d.). 5.0 Personal Factory. Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. Retrieved 2013, fromhttps://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Seed_Factories/Concept Friedman, B. (2013, May). Agents of value. InProceedings of the 2013 international conference on Autonomous agents and multi-agent systems(pp. 1-2). International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. Friedman, B., & Kahn Jr, P. H. (2000, April). New directions: A Value-Sensitive Design approach to augmented reality. InProceedings of DARE 2000 on Designing augmented reality environments(pp. 163-164). ACM. Gachet, A., & Haettenschwiler, P. A Decentralized Approach to Distributed Decision Support Systems. GodIsLove. (2013, December 9). Bitcoin transfers wealth from poor to wealthy.Bitcoin Transfers Wealth from Poor to Wealthy. Retrieved December, 2013, fromhttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=364761.msg3894779 Gorodetsky, V. (2013). Agents and Distributed Data Mining in Smart Space: Challenges and Perspectives. InAgents and Data Mining Interaction(pp. 153-165). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Incentive-centered design. (2013, November 30).Wikipedia. Retrieved December 9, 2013, fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incentive-centered_design Invictus Innovations Incorporated. (2013). DACs Invictus Innovations Incorporated.Invictus Innovations Incorporated. Retrieved December, 2013, from http://invictus-innovations.com/i-dac/ Jeong, S. (2013). The Bitcoin Protocol as Law, and the Politics of a Stateless Currency.Available at SSRN 2294124. Katcher, D. (October 19). Social-Centered Design: The Evolution Of User-Centered Design.Social-Centered Design: The Evolution Of User-Centered Design. Retrieved December, 2013, volution_of_user-centered_design McKendrick, J. (2011, August 24). Wireless data can be delivered by LED lights, anywhere: Call it Li-Fi | SmartPlanet.SmartPlanet Innovative Ideas That Impact Your World. Retrieved December 16, 2013. Pavlik, J. V., & Bridges, F. (2013). The Emergence of Augmented Reality (AR) as a Storytelling Medium in Journalism.Journalism & Communication Monographs,15(1), 4-59. Price, M. (2013, September 8). Utahs welfare drug testing saved more than $350,000 in first year, officials say.DeseretNews.com. Retrieved December, 2013, lfare-drug-tests-save-money.html Son, D. K., Cho, E., Moon, I., Ghassemlooy, Z., Kim, S., & Lee, C. G. (2013). Simultaneous transmission of audio and video signals using visible light communications.EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking,2013(1), 250. Thompson, D. (2013, May 31). Scariest Graph in the World Just Got Scarier.The Atlantic. Retrieved December, 2013, 76423/ User-Centered Design. (2010, January 17).Wikipedia. Retrieved December 9, 2013, fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-centered_design Wile, R. (2013, December 10). 927 People Own Half Of All Bitcoins.Business Insider. Retrieved December 10, 2013, -2013-12 7.0 Distributed Production Network. (n.d.). Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. Retrieved 2013, fromhttps://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Seed_Factories/WWF ###Exploring the the Darkside of Artificial Intelligence: thoughts, ideas, rants, and research from darklightyou think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it.darkai.orgauthors darklight //rise to higher levels. The generation of youth today face an opportunity crisis caused in part by the high cost of education, the debt load, and technological unemployment. The problem we wish to solve is technologically enhanced unemployment which works around the current paradigm of convincing human beings to attempt to compete with robots, machines, and intelligent machines in the workplace for employment. The new paradigm as part of the solution we are presenting is a world where the incorruptible intelligent machines take care of the human being rather than compete against. The solution categories are political and technological There are generally two categories from which solutions to high unemployment are formed and chosen. The political category and the technological category. Each category of solution has its pros and cons and we do not wish to diminish any alternative solution which has a measurably positive impact on solving the problem. What we are promoting is a technological safety-net to supplement or in other words provide auxiliary power to the traditional political safety-net. If the one fails then there is technologically based resiliency and redundancy. Political solutions Political solutions typically involve social programs which are primarily funded through taxes. These taxes at the current time are a burden which is spread out among the middle class as well as the rich but as unemployment rises the middle class predictably will shrink and the tax burden will continuously fall more heavily on those which society deems rich. These political solutions rely on a mathematical trend which at this point is not happening. In order for something such as the Affordable HealthCare act to work it has to have funding far into the future but what if there arent enough jobs in the future to fund this idea or many of the others? Are taxes really the only way we can think of to solve this problem and why are we limiting ourselves to relying on the government to solve it when the solution can come from technology itself? In order for to rely on the centralized government to solve this problem we have to accept risks such as dependency centralized authorities such as politicians who can change their mind and the laws at any time and cut millions of people off, and additionally people who are rich do not necessarily want to pay for people who are poor. The government will be required to use force to try to make the rich pay for the poor which ultimately can result in a budget deadlock. This political approach shows no sign of success and long term it is not sustainable because the workforce and tax base will shrink causing fewer people to pay higher taxes. A final concern of note with this solution is the lack of privacy, where certain people receive social program benefits while others do not it creates unnecessary division. The political solutions inherit all of the problems associated with centralization such as a single point of failure, lack of privacy, dependency on centralized authority, and narrow political focuses such as on the problem of unemployment. Some of thebenefitsof the technological solutionsinclude Leverages AI Leverages the Internet of Things Leverages and embraces the technological singularity Virtual /Not limitedbyborders or jurisdictions Autonomous /Does not need central human authorities to runitself Decentralized / Distributed& Peer to Peer Trust-less /Minimal trust Directly democratic Potentially incorruptible Private /Pseudo-anonymous The technological solution has all of these pros. The benefit of decentralization is that it cannot be shut down. If we look at a government solution then when the politicians win or lose an election or when they are just in a bad mood they can decide to make irrational changes which can hurt the economic security of people who exclusively depend on them to always make the right decisions. If we look at the Affordable Care Act we can see that while its intentions are good the website is designed in an archaic manner, is barely usable, and at any time in the future because it depends on politics (which are often based on popularity contests) it can be modified or cut by politicians. The technological solution does not have this problem and while it should not act not as a replacement it can act as an axillary solution to provide the same services when the political solution fails due to human nature, human error, or corruption. By providing a technological solution we remove a possible point of failure and can help secure the economic fate of individuals depending exclusively on the political solution not failing. Costs Additionally the technological solution can reduce the costs of the political solution. If for instance Peer to Peer health insurance could someday compete with traditional health insurance then we could reduce the cost of the Affordable Care Act because Peer to Peer health insurance could be cheaper and equally effective. If we can provide in a decentralized manner something essential like food vouchers then we do not need to use the government for this purpose. Privacy The government provides an EBT card which asks for the users ID in order to receive food stamps. This violates the privacy of the user who may not want it to be known that they receive food stamps. In this case the technological solution would be pseudo-anonymous and completely private while also capable of providing digital food vouchers backed by farmers willing to accept them. In a pseudo-anonymous environment there will be no expensive drug tests (Price, 2013) and no political litmus tests. Every participant in the technological solution should receive equal benefits in a pseudo-anonymous privacy enhanced manner. Security Because the political solution requires an identity it creates a risk of identity theft. Identity theft has a cost associated with it. The technological solution is much more secure by design and because it is Peer to Peer it can be global from the start which bypasses all the political nonsense associated with political solutions. The technological solution cannot be shut down on a whim because its Peer to Peer nature provides layers of redundancy. It only requires a public key and that means identity need not be stored on centralized servers within databases. This also means your private information cannot be sold or traded around. The increase in privacy removes the social and political stigma associated with receiving something like Food Stamps, Welfare Benefits, or subsidized Health Insurance because youre just a pseudo-nym. Medical records can also be more secure because they too could be under a pseudo-nym. A summary of the risks associated with dependency on the political solution The risk of human error, human failure, or simple mood changes among politicians. The risk of unsustainability due to a possible unexpected increase in cost or less tax revenue. The risk of identity theft, public scorn, or political persecution due to the lack of privacy. Bound by borders, the benefits are assigned by borders in an increasingly borderless economy. Change happens slowly, incrementally, and may be unable to keep pace with technological change. Providing the basic dividend Peoples Capitalism would generate the savings and loans necessary to finance massive new investments in modern technology and generate rapid productivity growth. And it would distribute the benefits of rapid economic growth to all. Everyone would become a capitalist. Everyone would own a share of the means of production.(Albus, n.d.). All of the problems associated with the political solution can be solved by providing a technologically enhanced distributed basic dividend. To provide a basic dividend we must leverage intelligent machines and to leverage intelligent machines we must promote decentralization of ownership of the intelligent machines. Crowd funding through an exodus address or angel address One of the most important ways of bootstrapping or kick starting the process of development of these solutions is through the utilization of crowd funding. One successful way of doing that is to simply have an address designated as the exodus or angel address which is to be utilized as the crowd funding destination address. Anyone can send any cryptocurrency or cryptoasset they have to this address as part of the distributed fund raising campaign. The money raised by crowd funding is a loan to developers who can be paid to quit their jobs or who will get paid in shares of the crypt-entity/asset they are building. The entities who sent to that address will have transaction logged to the blockchain allowing their level of contribution to be converted to shares in the crypt-entity/asset. The use of the savings address to simulate an annual salary A possible result of the decentralized crowd funding process is the decentralized distribution of ownership in crypto-assets. These crypto-assets can be treated like capital assets. Each wallet should have a savings address and a shopping or checking address. The savings address should be the most secured address and could be held in cold storage and / or set so that it is rate limited. The purpose of this savings address is to send a specific amount of currency to the spending address at a rate which simulates a salary. So the idea is that you can set your own annual salary in your national currency to be sent from this savings address to whichever addresses are randomly chosen from your checking address. The necessity of this is to allow people to stretch their money over their lifetime because the majority of future incomes will come from investments rather than from what we today call jobs. Money which comes from investments may come in huge sums very fast and then trickle down to a crawl pace. This happens because typically there is an exponential growth period and then a period from which an investment profit tapers off. It may be important for some people to psychologically simulate an annual salary so that they dont burn through all their money and this type of rate limiting is built into the Bitcoin protocol under n-lock time which designates a waiting period before a transaction can be spent so that a transaction sent to self would not be spendable until some time in the future (not be spendable too fast). The Pros and Cons of utilizing Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake If youre using cryptocurrencies you typically have Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Proof of Stake allows for a dividend to be paid to every owner of the currency. Transaction fees would generate that dividend. The problem with this would be that the people who hold the most would get the most so Proof of Stake is not necessarily the most fair mechanism of distributing a flat dividend. Another variation on the example would be to set it up so the subsidy goes to every owner of a specific key. This way with the public key of each user you could now distribute the dividend on a per public key basis and through this mechanism you could actually give an equal proportion of the dividend to every owner. This actually would work about as well as the government tax and spend model we have now with the transaction fee going to every non-anonymous user of the currency and as a side effect it would also encourage every user of the currency to have a permanent pseudo-anonymous identity. A combination such as the above example which combines cutting edge technology in a decentralized and private manner would work even better. The individuals who receive welfare or who receive universe healthcare would never be identifiable because the basic income would go to everyone who can provide Proof of Ownership of some nominal amount of the cryptocurrency/crypto-asset and Proof of Identity. So for instance you have your cryptocurrency wallet with whatever currency unit amount in it. You have a public key which allows for one specific identity to claim ownership of that specific wallet. If that wallet passes a certain threshold amount then it meets the minimum threshold to receive the dividend. Their public key is then connected to dividend paying shares which uses private sector mechanisms to pay dividends based on transaction fees to every shareholder. Shareholders would have to be real people, to make sure some people arent trying to game the system the dividends can only be redeemed at an exchange which follows KYC guidelines. Types of dividends For dividend types you have flat static dividends, flat dynamic dividends, hierarchical static dividends and hierarchical dynamic dividends. To further define them we can assign it as: Type A dividends: Flat static dividends Type B dividends: Flat dynamic dividends Type C dividends: Hierarchical static dividends Type D dividends: Hierarchical dynamic dividends A flat static dividend is a fixed percentage of profit within a profit sharing contract which every owner receives an equal portion of. There is no economic hierarchy so there is no accusations of it being a pyramid scheme which benefits early adopters more than late adopters. There is a fixed number of slots and every user who enters into the slot before all the slots are filled will get an equal share of the profit generated. A flat dynamic dividend is a dynamic percentage which can change over time or is voted on and changes but its still flat. There are a fixed number of slots to be filled and every user who takes a slot or a seat at the round table before the seats are filled will be an equal. If they vote to raise their percentage of profit to go to the dividend they can or they can vote to lower it but everyone gets a vote and the percentage is equal for every owner. A hierarchical static dividend is a dividend which pays a fixed percentage according to where you are sitting in an audience. So if its a concert or sporting event some individuals have better seats than others because they arrived earlier. The early bird gets the worm in this case and is richly rewarded for doing so. This mechanism can sometimes be viewed as a pyramid scheme or mistakenly viewed as a Ponzi scheme but in certain scenarios where you want risk takers to be rewarded then being early can matter. In this case all the risk takers will get a fixed percentage of the profit forever. A hierarchical dynamic dividend is a dividend which pays a dynamic percentage of the profit which can change over time through something like Proof of Stake voting. Proof of Stake allows a software protocol to determine who has the greatest stake and then allow them to vote on what percentage of the profit should go to dividends. This form of voting allows for great flexibility among stakeholders but if a few hundred people own 30% of the crypto-equity then they get 30% of the dividend as well. This is good in some ways but it opens the ownership up to the accusation of being greedy. Transaction fees can be used to pay for dividends But there are different kinds of transactions. Some transactions are small, some are large, some are recurring/subscription, some are not. But Bitcoin for the most part utilizes the same transaction fee indiscriminate of the transaction typeand it is up for debate whether or not this fixed fee will be sustainable once mining revenue decreases as no new coins are generated(GodIsLove, 2013). Types of transaction fees (there may be more types, seeking input here) Type A transaction fees:fixed sized fee hard coded into the client Type B transaction fees:dynamic fee which adjusts according to transaction size Type C transaction fees:dynamic based on voting mechanism. Type A transaction fees: fixed size transaction fees where every transaction pays the same fee are not sustainable Anyone who has experience using the Bitcoin client would know that the most recent update specifically addresses the fact that the volatility of Bitcoin has resulted in the cost of transaction fees rising in terms of $ amount. This is a problem because Bitcoin is marketing itself as having lower transaction fees than Western Union. The Bitcoin protocol is designed so that after the 21 million Bitcoins are produced the mining is to be subsidized by transaction fees. The problem is that these transaction fees are voluntary, and all transactions are treated as equal. This makes sense technically speaking because its nearly free to process and transfer information and the cost of that processing is very cheap. Mining on the other hand is not cheap and currently is not profitable for the majority of human miners (system administrators) who had to purchase ASICs but due to seemingly exponential rising of difficulty are unable to recoup their investment. While the virtual worker does not care the human being has bills to pay and when the return on investment does not exist or is too low the human being will find something else to do. It is known that the Type A transaction fee model cannot scale and is not sustainable. Type B and Type C transaction fee models are sustainable. Attraction by incentive rather than coercive force (Incentive-centered design protocol) The political solutions typically rely on one group trying to force a behavioral pattern on another group. Taxes are not voluntary and require a Robin Hood strategy. Taxes are also seen as a punishment rather than a reward and the more money you make the higher the tax. Transaction fees are essentially a tax on the use of the Bitcoin network and that tax is used to subsidize mining. If the fee isnt high enough then the network cannot scale as easily, cannot remain decentralized as easily, and is less secure. As a result of this it is necessary under the Proof of Work scheme to pay the tax to the network of miners who process transactions and generate new coins because over time there will be less and less coins to generate and mining itself will become unprofitable. If mining becomes unprofitable it may become less decentralized and more vulnerable to a 51% attack. The purpose of an incentive-centered design protocol is to encourage by incentives rather than to adopt the political method of threatening with jail time. The use of a social contract can be encouraged by cultural norms, incentives, and the human need to want to be a part of a community. To be a part of a community also means to give back to that community. If a community has certain principles then those principles and its membership who believes in similar principles have to be supported in the social contract which can be enforced by peer pressure, tradition, culture, social norms, in the same way that people typically want to avoid scams, pre-mined coins, overly centralized unfair markets are not seen as desirable. The incentive-centered design protocol should be built into the design of the social contract, the software, the design of every aspect so that every individual member can be richly rewarded for their efforts while at the same time become a benefit whichever virtual community or set of virtual communities he or she agrees with. Miners are virtual workers Artificial lifeforms otherwise known as a-life can be useful to describe the concept of mining. The artificial workers in the Bitcoin Proof of Work for instance are computational processes which are simulating the role of a gold miner. Just as you can have artificial lifeforms which simulate the role of a gold miner, you can also have artificial lifeforms which can simulate the role of any other kind of laborer. The Proof of Work protocol is designed so that the artificial miner virtual lifeforms are presented with problems in the form of puzzles which must be solved. These puzzles are cryptographic hashes which become progressively more difficult to solve as more virtual workers join in the effort to solve it. It acts in this way because it is designed to mimic the behavior of precious metals such as gold and is modelled in such a way to limit the inflation rate to a predictable rate and cap the overall amount at approximately 21 million Bitcoin units. So in the case of Bitcoin we have a protocol which models itself after nature to produce precious numbers and which uses the principles of artificial life or a-life to design an precisely defined unit of account architecture. This architecture is now in the process of being extended further with the concept of colored coins which can mark or tag every single Satoshi. A Bitcoin is approximately 100,000,000 Satoshi and there are 21 million Bitcoins. 21,000,000 * 100,000,000 would equal to the maximum number of units in the Bitcoin protocol. What must be remembered here is that Bitcoin is not best defined as a currency but as a distributed protocol which acts as a public ledger modeled after a currency. The same way virtual workers, artificial life, and precious metals could be simulated and modeled to produce a virtual object/commodity of value what is of great importance are the concepts behind the protocol. Modeling of natural and unnatural structures to leverage artificial life (Biomimicry) The use of colored coin conceptual metaphor can allow for the Satoshi to become a stock, a bond, anything. The focus of future innovation should be in expanding the conceptual metaphors, the use of artificial life, with new innovative models which can simulate more advanced and more important functions than merely a coin or a stock. What we have is a blank canvas from which you can create any kind of financial instrument so long as the incentives are aligned right to attract human beings. Any naturally occurring structure can be modeled in code and combinations which do not occur in nature can be modeled to solve any problem in code. So the concept of a bee hive which pays dividends to every pod. Blending naturally occurring structures with unnatural occurring structures (Biomimicry based hybrid social structures) A bee hive is a naturally occurring structure. It is from the nature of the bee that we have the bee hive and the honey.A corporation is an unnatural structure and it is the law which created the corporation. Corporate person hood is the blending of the unnatural structure with a natural structure. The concept here is that the corporation is now an artificial life form, and there can be a parent and child corporation. Protoshares is an example of blending natural and unnatural structures. The distributed autonomous corporation(Invictus Innovations Incorporated, 2013)is modeled loosely after the behavior of the real lifedistributed autonomouscommunity, yet it also models itself after a corporation because it is through owning Protoshares that you can own all DACs in the Invictus Innovations family tree of DACs. In this way the root of that tree is the Protoshares which guarantees a proportional percentage of ownership in DACs created by Invicticus Innovations. DACs are intended to be artificial lifeforms which decentralize and distribute the corporation so that it can inherit the benefits. The concept of the DAC is a good example but it is limited because it does not go far enough in decentralizing the stakeholders and ownership. Decentralized ownership of intelligent machines (decentralized ownership of smart property) The survival
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