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Computer Science Class of '60s Speaker - James Mickens, Harvard

Thu, March 7th, 2019
8:00 pm
- 9:00 pm

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Thursday, March 07 @ 8:00pm in Wege Auditorium (TCL 123)
Reception to follow.

“Blockchains Are A Bad Idea (More Specifically, Blockchains Are A Very Bad Idea) “

Blockchains have been proposed as the best storage technology for a variety of use cases, e.g., supply chain management and the administration of medical records. Unfortunately, in almost all of these use cases, blockchains are a terrible fit for the actual needs of the higher-level applications. OH NO CNBC HAS LIED TO US. Using a combination of technical insights and lurid Castro-style rants, I will describe why cryptocurrency abstractions and smart contracts are not a good way to earn currency or be smart. I fully expect that somebody in the audience will challenge me to a duel; since I am a lover, not a fighter, my weapons will be poignant haikus, composed in real time, that sarcastically lament the volatility of the Bitcoin market.

James Mickens is an IEEE Knight of the Republic, an ACM Templar for Non-Open Access, and a Royal Proceeding of Her Majesty’s Royal Proceedings. His appreciation for syntactically correct code has led him to be called “a semicolon in human form.” His online shopping habits have too many dimensions to be categorized, so he is only shown ads about dinosaurs and ancient siege machines. This does not bother James Mickens, and explains why he spends his summers attacking France with triceratops horns. During the rest of the year, he is an associate professor of computer science at Harvard. #TrueStory
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