What Are We Doing Here?

The other day, I suggested that a valid design criteria for an economy would be to base it on bloggers’ values: openness, exposure and candid discussion of our offerings, a compilation of our justifications for and our collective estimation of the quality of our respective offerings.

But what if we turn that around? Instead of imposing blogger values on meatspace, what values from meatspace might we take on, as representative of the collective values of web loggers?

Tonight I caught the end of PBS’ Ken Burns documentary on the life of Thomas Jefferson. It concluded with these words:

Thomas Jefferson essentially said to us:

“We cannot be complacent until two conditions are met.

“Every human being born on this continent has a right to equal, indeed, identical treatment by the machine of the law, irrespective of race, gender, creed or class of origin.

“And secondly, that every human being born on this continent has a right to roughly equal opportunity and modest prosperity. Until those conditions are met, we cannot rest.

“When those conditions are met, we may say as he said he would, nunc dimittis, ‘you may dismiss me.’ My work is done.”

Do we have anything more important on our agenda? Do we have the right to such lofty goals? Do we have the stomach for them? Is web logging the forum to take on Jefferson’s challenge? Oh, what the hell. Why not?

The challenges to the human spirit have always been economic, and the tyranny that scarcity economics invariably leads to. It’s not surprising that my view is that those imperatives can be embedded in a set of values and transactional forms adopted to express those values. The people using those forms can hardly presume to change the “machine of the law,” but it can route around undesired compulsion under the law using the tipware protocols I described yesterday.

Just a thought.

11:23:42 PM    

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