I was talking about books with my friend Jon Robinson the other day, and he said something offhand that I’ve not been able to chase out of my brain.
It sounds like a silly idea until you realize that what we’re doing now is not likely to work for much longer.
Corporations are becoming more powerful. They’re buying and corrupting the governments that used to regulate them. And even worse, the people who used to participate in government by being citizens are now completely checked out.
And soon they won’t have jobs anyway.
So what if you basically enter into an agreement with your Corporation, where you agree to be monitored, you agree to be safe and non-violent, and you agree to learn the right things and say the right things (which could have a pretty broad range potentially), and in return you are provided with a prefab house, prefab meals, a gaming rig, and all the entertainment content you could ever want.
If you get sick you’re taken care of. If you are in danger the police are sent to help.
Because you’re a customer (kind of like an employee, but better) and you are providing them a service by doing things in the virtual world. You’re evangelizing for your ecosystem, which is the ecosystem made by your employer, and as a result you’re either creating actual value in the virtual world or you are earning the Corporation a stipend from the government.
So basically, the government is a control structure that pays corporations to keep the people happy. And corporations compete to have the most compelling combination of experiences for people.
The best prefab houses, with the best on-demand food, the best romantic partners, and the best gaming rigs, and the best skin access for the games themselves, etc. Plus you have the best chance of being discovered as a value creator, which turns you into various types of celebrity—either in or out of game.
I’m not saying this is a good idea. Sounds like it’d be pretty easy to have it go bad.
But at least it’s a path forward. Right now we don’t have one of those.
As Harari talks about in his books, the current concepts of government and corporations had their time. They were useful and performed a function, but now they are proving inflexible and in need of replacement.
Maybe government-funded and all-inclusive Corporate-life-ecosystems are the way to go.
Would love to hear your thoughts.