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Posts Tagged ‘city state’

Remember reading your history books about people sentenced to exile from their city states.  I could not understand this as a punishment. I had no context.  At the time, I was living in the eternally cloudy and damp city of London.   Exile would be welcome.  Maybe I could go to Ibiza or the Caribbean and play on the beach all day.

In the context of those city state days, exile from Rome or Florence was devastating. One was cut off from “civilization”. One was removed from a tight-knit infrastructure of relationships that provided credit, intellectual exchange and a concentrated population for trading.

As more global business goes online and transacts exclusively in cyberspace, I can imagine the similarly tight-knit infrastructure of relationships forming by the social currencies of trust, candor and generosity. I can imagine intense trade and credit exchanged between the members of prosperous online groups.  These communities will be increasingly exclusive and selective as they grow. But they will be amongst themselves, open and inclusive. They will allow members to be increasingly candid, vulnerable and generous (predictable), without the constant anxiety of having confidentiality and trust violated.

Where there is predictability, there is trust.

The most successful individuals would be able to move between and trade with many groups, networks and communities online.  Their golden passport to abundance written in the  indelible digital ink of trustworthiness.

A violation of trust could amount to exile from a group. Far worse, this could be like branding a thief on the forehead, but in cyberspace.  No community or group will accept a branded exile.  At least not any group an exile would voluntarily accept.  I assume that would mean some form of justice or due process in a private tribunal, in which  case the jury really would be your peers! This puts into perspective the wisdom of building a public reputation for generosity, trust and credibility.  It could also be the difference between  having a group of trusted friends, business partners and work colleagues that would advocate in your favor, or a hostile mob “stoning you” back into the highly suspicious world of a brick and mortar economy.  OK, a little poetic license, but you get the point.

Whilst part of this may seem like scenes from an adolescent video game, I urge you not to ignore all of these evolutions occurring rapidly in cyberspace and with real consequences.  All the pieces are in place already, and with one exponential leap forward, we will be in that world overnight.

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