What they are doing in China using technology to modify and mold social behavior is both ingenious and amazing, but also terrifying. This article from Wired is long, but worth the read:
INSIDE CHINA’S VAST NEW EXPERIMENT IN SOCIAL RANKING
Basically, companies and the government in China are developing a technology-driven “Social Credit Score” that they can use together with concepts of gamification to socially engineer the views and behaviors of people on a massive scale. In some ways it is kind of like Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984, but instead of fear and oppression, it uses social, economic, and psychological incentives to create a more subtle and manipulative despotism.
I think it is likely that, as the article suggests, this kind of centralized reputation based social engineering will eventually come to the United States.
Meanwhile, individuals in Utah and elsewhere are currently working on technology that could revolutionize identity, reputation, and trust using open source software called Sovrin that uses an ingenious combination of cryptography and a public ledger technology similar to the blockchain used by bitcoin. Continue reading