Ming the Mechanic:
The Obvious Society

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Obvious Society2003-02-25 23:59
8 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Britt has an excellent piece on 'The Obvious Society', which is an elaboration on his ideas about a Transparent Society. A Transparent Society is a society where we collectively know as much about each other as did the citizens of a 19th century village, but this time through shared technology. Our transactions and our track record is out in the open. We carry around webcams that can record everything we do. We can easily track where everybody is at any time. We can easily track every item of any kind we have a need for tracking. I know that some people find all of this a horrible thought, but I agree with Britt that if all of this is available in a truly democratic fashion, our society is transformed in very useful ways. Crime would no longer be viable, for one thing. Neither would dishonesty. That is a transparent society. Then what is an 'Obvious Society'?

It is the inevitable conclusion to such transparency. It is when it becomes obvious how to indicate our needs, obvious how to notice the needs of others, obvious how to be rewarded for good deeds. It is where we are seen so clearly, and we see others so clearly that it is obvious what we need to do, and obvious what transactions we should carry out amongst each other. If everything is out in the open, life can become more simple again, as we can focus on the obvious things to do, which are those things we are suited to do, and which need doing. And the value of that will be obvious to others, which translates into an elightened economy.


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