september, 2014

27sep(sep 27)9:00 am28(sep 28)4:45 pmDigital Cash! The Past and Future of Electric Payment

Event Details

Today’s discussions about the future of currency often say the old world of brick and mortar banks, paper cash, and plastic cards is disappearing – and the future is bitcoins, P2P infrastructures, and e-cash served through dotcom companies and mobile phone carriers. But we have heard these stories before. Like jet-packs, flying cars and trips to mars, digital cash is a relic of the past and a constant promise from the future. That’s why this conference gathers together humanities scholars, engineers, and science fiction authors, all focused on the past and future of payment. Together guests will explore the historical legacy of payment systems – from conventional cash and credit, to prototype experiments with digital currency – alongside the speculative representations and explorations of science fiction in novels, film and games.

• Legacies of Digital Payment
• Futures and Speculative Currencies
• Politics and Power in Payment Systems
• Dangers, Alternatives, and Experiments in Online Currency
• Glowpearls, Ingots, and Mana – Currency in Other Worlds
• Digital Cash, Law and the State
*Plus Sunday brunch science fiction readings!


Participants: Amelia Acker, Tom Boellstor, Finn Brunton, Anupam Chander, Steve Crocker, Radhika Desai, Julian Dibbell, Kevin Driscoll, Virginia Eubanks, Alex Golub, Sandra Harding, Christopher Kelty, Greg Lastowka, Bill Maurer, Jennifer Mnookin, Matt Novak, Ron Rivest, Allan Schiman, Karl Schroeder, Emin Gün Sirer, David Stearns, Lana Swartz, and Sherryl Vint.

Organized by Morgan Currie, Bradley Fidler, and Christopher Kelty. Sponsored by the University of California Humanities Research Institute and the UCLA Computer Science Department’s Kleinrock Center for Internet Studies, along with the NSF-Funded Participation Lab at the Institute for Society and Genetics, the Department of Information Studies, and the UCLA Law School’s Program on Understanding Law, Science and Evidence.

Saturday 9/27 – Decafe, Perloff Hall
9:00 – 9:30 – Coffee and tea
9:30 – 11:00 – Legacies of Digital Payment
11:15 – 12:45 – Futures and Speculative Currencies
12:45 – 1:30 – Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 – Politics and Power in Payment Systems
3:15 – 4:45 – Dangers, Alternatives, and Experiments in Online Currency

Sunday 9/28 – Decafe, Perloff Hall
9:30 – 10:00 – Coffee and tea
10:00 – 11:00 – Glowpearls, Ingots, and Mana – Currency in Other Worlds
11:00 – 12:30 – Brunch with Books
12:30 – 12:45 – Break
12:45 – 2:00 – Digital Cash and the State

More information and updates on the program:

To register, write to



27 (Saturday) 9:00 am - 28 (Sunday) 4:45 pm


Decafe, Perloff Hall

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