The impact of the new technologies, even something as ubiquitous as e-mail have only begun to be felt in many parts of society. For instance, take shareholder voting. Usually, this ratifies selection of the board of directors and takes place once a year. This is a reflection of the difficulty of getting all the shareholders together to vote or was. Really, it’s obsolete. Shareholders should be empowered by the new technologies and there should be multiple votes each year. For instance, the extravagant pay and benefits offered CEO’s and other officers of the company might require ratification by the shareholders instead of being chosen by a board of compensation often appointed by the CEO himself.
What about government? How many places could the government in this country empower citizens to make a difference in the decision making. Right now, floods of e-mails are fired in whenever a major issue appears. But we can do better. I believe right now we have the technology to eliminate fake e-mails and other nonsense from the process. If one of my websites can screen out spam and confirm my identity so I can download modifications to my video games, surely a congressional office can do the same. I don’t think they want to do this. Floods of e-mail enable a representative to vote anyway they like. Accurate e-mails reflecting the actual views of the citizens, particularly the most energized and interest citizens would likely reflect real public concerns and handicap a representative freedom to do any act they wish for any constituency for instance a corporation having made large campaign contributions.
We don’t think about these things. We act as if the world were connected by horse drawn vehicles from another age when people communicate with every part of the world in tenths of a second. Let’s start thinking and start building a society where people matter.