Startup Societies: Laboratories of innovation

From the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies :

“Never before in recorded history have humans navigated our daily lives with such ease. The technology we use daily, much of which has been produced in the recent past, has opened the floodgates of possibility for human potential. Unfortunately, this convenience has not been extended across the board, and some fields have resisted innovation. In particular, there is a unique kind of administrative technology, hundreds of years old, which has stayed relatively fixed and yet still affects almost everyone. I am of course referring to the technology of governance.

This post is a general response to Woody Evans’ recent article: ‘Against Transhuman Separatism’


States are operating largely in the same manner they were a century ago, and when compared to, say, blockchains or high functioning prosthetics, they are appearing increasingly inefficient. While other fields such as transportation, communication, healthcare, agriculture etc. have improved at the rate of their technological growth, governance has remained nearly unchanged. What’s almost more interesting is that this observation is no longer just held by a libertarian minority, but is increasingly becoming the view of a growing majority on both the left and the right. Within the American political framework, two party outsiders, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are experiencing success in the polls. Of course, we all might angrily disagree as to how governance can or should be altered, but it is clear that many more people believe that now is a time for some reform.

Despite this demand for new policy, it is highly unlikely that we will see much of a shift in the governance of a nation-state through its own electoral process. Statistically, in a country of millions, it requires a large investment of both one’s time and money to even affect the political outcome. Even so, competing special interests within government are often enough to mitigate that contribution and maintain the status quo. Moreover, even if you could pass a potentially radical new policy in your country, there is no guarantee that its implementation would actually benefit the country and its people. Such change carries risk. So, if there are inherent barriers to testing new, potentially beneficial policies in our own nation-states, how can we improve our technology of governance? One solution comes in the form of Startup Societies…..”

Read the rest of this article at the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies.

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