I try to understand things from the perspective of an alien scientist studying our planet. It just seems so bizarrely ironic that our greatest fear seems to be exploitation from someone else and how it shapes everything about us. It’s obvious why this is the case–we’re best described as creatures designed to outwit and exploit our surroundings (including ourselves.)
What isn’t clear is why we don’t address that fact. Why we don’t search for that economy and infrastructure which would leave us predisposed to empower and enrich our world rather than exploit it. Why does everyone seem to subconsciously conclude that would be impossible? It only requires redressing the externalities that leave us predisposed to exploit in the first place. We got here honestly, in a world where creatures changed over evolutionary time and simply couldn’t outrun their own impact. That is no longer the case. We can change the world far faster than we can adapt to it.
The internet is the neurogenesis of a genuine, independent, meta-consciousness. It still seems to be stumbling to find a model for forming useful neurons; the means to add significant value by virtue of the way we interact with each other and the information itself. Yet we still haven’t come to grips with the most fundamental dysfunction of our predicament; that most aspects of our world predispose us to outwit and exploit each other rather than enrich or empower.
I write this (and do realize this is somewhat off-topic; meta-topic?) only because the internet seems to be the only place we actually might be able to, for example, ensure that the various minds involved in the crystallization of great knowledge are all properly credited. And that I honestly believe we’ve unwittingly built a world that is a bit backwards; I see people enjoy what they do for others more than anything else. Just imagine how awesome work would be if the economic rewards matched the emotional ones?
Google’s WAVE technology seems to be an effort to do this, but I think it is a better model for most organizations that are looking for ways to wring more utility out of their intellectual capital. Especially if it evolves into an encapsulation of entire projects–turning them into data in their own right and promising a quantum leap in our capacity to rapidly deploy extreme competency in response to every challenge.
What infrastructure would the government build if it honestly wanted to allow the public to govern itself fairly? Because that seems like the wisest approach any government could take, because it ensures the public is aware of what its government does and how. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun for you folks to build the infrastructure that empowered volunteers from the public sector to do you jobs better than you presently can? It’s not like you have to listen to what they might recommend. But wouldn’t just building the tools necessary to permit an entirely volunteer parallel virtual government best predispose you to deliver an honestly Open Government?