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Blockchain Chicken Farm by Xiaowei Wang (used)

Blockchain Chicken Farm by Xiaowei Wang (used)

by Xiaowei Wang

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From where I sit in the US, inundated with ads for crypto tech, a "blockchain chicken farm" sounds like a marketing ploy. But for many people in China, it can be the thing that saves you from dying of food-borne illness. Or not. It depends on how scrupulous the people entering the info into the blockchain are.

That's what I took away from Xiaowei Wang's Blockchain Chicken Farm: many of the technologies that seem hyper-futuristic to us are still, in fact, thin layers upon grueling human work, countless hours of data entry and in-real-life eyeballs walking around cities, noting things. Wang introduces us to some of the ordinary people who contribute to these systems, which, in some cases, end up resembling towering, all-knowing panopticons.

It's not all freaky. Among the warmest bits of the book are Wang's home visits with the families whose businesses are the backbone of Alibaba, China's Amazon. These massive, global networks (and their spinoff artificial intelligence companies) don't spring up out of a vacuum; they're built on kids and their grandmas sewing knockoff Disney costumes in their living rooms.

This is a great, thoughtful exploration of technology and communities.

This book is used, in "very good" condition. It's not my personal copy.

10% of the proceeds from every order go to Sylvanaqua Farms' mutual aid fund, which is building infrastructure to end food apartheid.

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