connected democracy

As networks become the dominant organizational form, disciplines like personal knowledge mastery will be essential for all knowledge workers.

“By creating millions of networked people, financially exploited but with the whole of human intelligence one thumb-swipe away, info-capitalism has created a new agent of change in history: the educated and connected human being.” – End of Capitalism

Being educated is not enough. Effective citizens in a post-job, creative economy will also have to be connected. As objects get connected, the platform owners will aggregate more power and control.  Smart cities without smart citizens will result in the tyranny of the platform capitalists.

“In truth, competing visions of the smart city are proxies for competing visions of society, and in particular about who holds power in society. ‘In the end, the smart city will destroy democracy,’ Hollis warns. ‘Like Google, they’ll have enough data not to have to ask you what you want.’” – Smart Cities Destroy Democracy

Power in networks is based on reputation which is developed through relationships. For citizens to exert power in the network era, they must be connected. Elected representatives have been the standard medium that citizens have used to exert their democratic power. But as everything gets connected, complexity will increase, and reaction times decrease. A connected citizenry can be an effective way to re-balance democratic power. But in order to do so, all citizens must make the effort to be connected and take the time to discuss important issues. No person can know everything, but connected people can know more than any individual, elected or appointed. Connecting to others is no longer a luxury, it is essential in order to keep our democracies alive.

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