Friday, December 02, 2005
Massively Distributed Hysteria and the Future of Reputation
An article by someone upset that their bio was faked on Wikipedia.
Is this really an issue? Economically, no. What it means is actually something pretty cool - that in the future, everyone will be responsible for their own decentralized info. You'll have to check your reputation, because the network has a long memory.
That, in turn, will create new markets and new sources of value.
But far more importantly, it sets (huge) incentives, just like Clarke argued in The Light of Other Days, for people to be much cooler to each other than they are now.
That's a bit optimistic.
How does someone like a politician handle deliberate misleading spin from political enemies? You can't do it by being "much cooler" with Karl Rove.
Politicians and spin are a function of distribution scarcity in media. As distribution scarcity erodes - as more and more decentralized info (ie, checking your own reputation) can be distributed and reaggregated - so does "spin", which is really just imperfect information flowing through narrow pipes.
It's just like the record industry. They're finding it pretty hard to spin their records at the moment, right?
The same thing will happen (is happening) to politics, just more slowly...
I also have to say, you are one skeptical dude.