Monday, May 19, 2008

The New Blank Society and Web 3.0

Globalization is taking place and it's not reversible - rather historical. Inequality within society (financially and non-financially) - governance systems - including weaker national government influence - don't work on a global scale.

So the question is, 'How will economic and technology trends influence the way that society develops and what is our role in the near future?'

Our roles are becoming more specialized. In essence, I believe that the 'renaissance man' is an anachronism in our modern society, due to the huge driving force toward specialization.

No longer is a writer a writer, a chemist a chemist, or a philosopher a philosopher. They are each specialized in a subdivision of their field, often with little interest in other realms of knowledge (within their field, let alone even daring to venture outside of it).

This specialization seems to hinder progress within each field, as each group of specialist develops a highly distinct, individualistic mode of communication (a new, lonely language) that excludes non-specialist and hence fortifies the barrier of communication between knowledge fields and, in effect, humans.

Our society and the mechanism that define and regulate it are drastically changing exactly because of this specialization of knowledge.

Seems bad but not really - it's an opportunity.

We now have a chance to re-think the way we adapt to society and its influences. Global societies and their interactions are the most complex structures in the world. We barely understand it and how it works. We theorize, evaluate and research but do we know the main mechanisms that govern our societies?


In order to balance the inequalitie between loosely consolidated private power (that initiate innovation) and highly consolidated public and capital power (that regulate it) requires creativity and a different mechanism of control - not hierarchical in nature but rather networked and layered.

This is where I was today in a large, rather heated discussion. The question boils down to a chicken and egg discussion. Some would believe that these attributes (networking, self organizing, multidirectional), as a result of technical innovation, are leading societal change.

My specific argument is that these attributes are actually being developed after the fact to fill the voids and gaps left between public and private power.

Global society is developing as a result of a higher consolidation of power (market, capital and governance or influence) within the hands of fewer people and thus, the development of networks and multidimensional matrices are a creative innovation of the common man or private power.

Social technology (or social media) is the result - not the cause – of these changes.

Why? How?

Our world is at a transitional moment. This transitional moment will be (or is) very disruptive and costly but that’s another 3 hour discussion so I won't include it here.

The point here is that in our (my) world, at the intersection of technology and society, this discussion helps us to define what Web 3.0 will become.

By my definition, Web 3.0 is the new paradigm of the collection and sharing of human knowledge.

This will be the defining factor on how the New Blank Society will be shaped. Web 3.0 won’t be simply be a term attached to the Internet because the Internet is changing and in a few years from now, the so-called Internet will look very different to what we see currently.

By my definition, Web 3.0 will scale to define our society in the future.

It will include inherent support for private power and the creativity of innovations and rewards to support future innovation. And it will include a balancing mechanism that will define public power and the governance models that will allow and accept redistributive equality into the ‘social knowledge sharing’ equation.

Web 3.0 will be a defining initiative for society in the near future. I hope we get it right.

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