Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom free download by Cory Doctorow is a novel. Please discuss.
Interesting ideas in the novel include: whuffie, immortality, permanent net connection, ad-hocracy, …
In the book, Doctorow wonders whether a Bitchunized society might become cautious and risk averse … and yet his protagonists are extreme risk takers. I wonder what sort of behaviors a Bitchunized society might gravitate toward?
I haven’t read the book, but I’m curious: What was the argument for why everybody would be cautious and risk averse?
Is it because the reputation systems are so swift, and thus demand so much conformity?
He doesn’t really go into this, but the risk aversion would be kind of like the corporate ass-kissing phenomenon we see today. Risk takers, like the protagonists, are more like entrepreneurs and people with dreams. Also, taking risks involves your whole tribe (what were the tribes called?) and the reputation of the whole.
I don’t agree. Whuffies require a kind of Big Brother approach: You must be identifiable at all times when whuffies are involved, so that other people can scan your points. These whuffie accounts must be secure, the transactions must be secure: The entire infrastructure doesn’t really allow anybody to assign any amounts of whuffie to anybody. WikiFolks is in essence just a graph representing who knows or likes or respects who. There are no exact numbers. There is no automatic tracking. There is no trading of something for services, because the WikiFolks data doesn’t have quantitative data. It is much “softer” than whuffies. Whuffies are like money in a barter society: You give some, it’s gone. In other words, it’s “hard” stuff. The only difference to current money is that there is no way to invest whuffies and no way to incorporate whuffies – in other words, no modern capitalism.
It might be interesting to investigate how close to whuffies the CommunityWikiBank would turn out to be.