Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Options

After making two posts about my version of an Ideal Society, I suppose that the few people who actually read this deserve to know about a few of the alternatives.

The Collective ("We are the Borg"): A society consisting of a single entity that possesses multiple bodies, anywhere from a couple to several billion. This would probably be accomplished through the use of brain implants networked wirelessly so that they function as one. Alternatively the participants could be uploaded into cyberspace (see August 17th entry) and merge into one super-entity, with individuals serving as subroutines within the entity. The individuals within the collective may have varying degrees of individuality, from none to people that communicate telepathically. Does not particularly appeal to me.

Cyber-democracy: Back to the original democracy, aided by the Internet. Instead of electing representatives people who want to participate in government simply log in to a vast online forum and post their opinions. But seriously, who would have the time to read a thread millions of posts long, you'd need to have someone to manage the forum, or more likely a different person for each region, which would kind of reduce the forum to a massive electronic voting machine.

AIcracy: Artificial Intelligences will be superior to humans in every way, so why not let them rule over us and guide us to a Utopia. But why would they want to keep us alive, they could replace us with robots who could fill our functions in every way without complaining. Not to mention that even a self-evolving AI would be no better than its programmers or teachers. Regardless, this is the government typically used in Transhumanist sci-fi such as Iain Banks' Culture series and the Orion's Arm online worldbuilding project (even the Libertarian NoCoZo is subtly guided by The Invisible Hand of the Market).

Megacorp: The traditional government is weak or non-existent, instead immense, monopolistic, corporations control everything. These Megacorps might not be immensely corrupt and overall inhumane, but that works out so well now doesn't it. One should note that this sort of society is the setting for pretty much THE ENTIRE CYBERPUNK GENRE.

Techno-feudalism: Instead of advanced technology becoming available to everyone, only an elite class has access to it, either the scientists and engineers rule, or they serve the aristocracy as advisers or valued servants. In extreme cases the common folk might live in a pre-industrial state and be controlled through a state-sponsored religion that claims that technology is magic or divine. Alternatively the underclasses may be robots or genetically engineered to be of lower intelligence, while the elite are genetically enhanced or "pure" humans with no enhancements. Vaguely similar to the Galactic Empires featured in Isaac Asimov's Foundation, Frank Herbert's Dune, and the miniatures war game Warhammer 40,000, but of a much smaller size as FTL travel is physically impossible of course.


Roko said...

Interesting to see an Asperger's person within the h+ blogging community - I'll be really interested in how your opinions differ from mine!

A bit about me: I am certainly geeky and have to push myself to experience what most people would call normal human emotions, and there are some pretty funny and pretty tragic instances of this in my personal life... but I'm not an Aspergarian.

ZarPaulus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZarPaulus said...

I've heard that there are actually a number of Aspergarians who are Transhumanists, in fact the World Transhumanist Association has recently linked an article about how Asperger's may be more of a gift than a disability.

CeilingCthulu said...

If you want an example of something along the lines of a cyber-democracy in action, read the Daemon/FreedomTM duology. It is not a strict cyber-democracy, and seems to have some anarchistic elements to it. However, something that is mentioned several times is how issues important to communities get bumped up, to be noticed by others (similar to reddit, or 'liking' something on facebook). The community is made aware of the subject, and then acts on it. So there doesn't necessarily need to be an obscene number of threads/moderators, as such.