Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elements of Utopia: Society Scaling

I’m going purpose various elements that I believe will be essential for creation of a utopia. I should also note that my idea of utopia, or what is utopian, is a little looser than the ideas that some may hold.

Elements of Utopia: Society Scaling
Dependent on: Immersive VR; complex, flexible, modeling software

Others may have already expressed this idea but I haven’t read of it anywhere. In essence, society scaling is all about finding a balance in the size of a society tailored to the tastes of each individual within that society. It may function similarly to facebook, where you may have hundreds of friends, one of whom only has a dozen friends. Some of these friends both you and your first friend share, others you do not. To you, the society would be comprised of hundreds of people, to your friend just a few dozen. You’d be able to interact, visit the same land marks but you wouldn’t be seeing exactly the same things.

Why is this desirable? For hundreds of thousands of years, humans and their early ancestors lived in family groups or small tribes. These developed into small villages, small towns, small cities, and then into more complex forms like small communities within large cities, etc. Some of us are better suited are better suited to larger social networks and increased competition, indeed, some of us need it. Others are content in smaller, more knowable networks, but in either case we wouldn’t want to exclude ourselves from being able to easily interact with friends and family whose tastes run contrary to our own.

I also believe that the flexibility of such a model would help prevent individuals from feeling too overwhelmed by competition for a desired position or status, while allowing for the level of competition to be steadily increased thus keeping individuals challenged. In this way, society scaling would avoid the hollowness of every individual simply being given their desires in virtual worlds independent of one another or the shallowness of a virtual worlds populated by nothing but rockstars and professional athletes.

This would also help people navigate the sticky social situations which develop from a desire to stay friend with your eX’s friends or even allow you to live with someone whose partner or best friend you can’t stand.

Now this isn’t to say there wouldn’t be kinks to work. For instance if you’re in a room with all of your friends, one of whom, in that same room, only recognizes the presences of some of your friends there could be certain difficulties in communication. For instance, it could appear to your friend that you are frequently talking to yourself or laughing for no good reason.

This is where, much like in social networking, adjustable privacy options would come into play. An individual could allow for some people outside their network to bleed through into their awareness, they could allow, for instance, full interaction with everyone in the room until such a time as they step outside the room.

Aspects of interacting in this way may seem needlessly complex, and, to an extent, they are. The advantages, however, would be numerous.

No comments:

Post a Comment