Amazon has sparked their sim-planet. It’s called Prime.
It will increasingly control the information you receive (see my post on Amazon Bookstores) and, through that, control what you buy, who you meet and what you think. They are ever-expanding and competing against other planetary systems to keep you adhered and portals closed, you are their monopoly. And, moving to another planet just means you’re changing monopolists.
What is a country?
What is a flag? What is a logo?
What is a citizen? What is a consumer?
What is the Constitution? What is an End User License Agreement?
Which do you prefer, Free Speech which can be outrageous and/or offensive or the guidelines of Facebook and Twitter
Which do you trust more, Google or the US Government? Which has better governance, more transparency, accountability and legal protections?
What uses capital more efficiently, Google or the US Government?
Who will keep you safer, Microsoft or The US government?
Which is the more durable currency: Would you like your tax refund in American dollars or Facebook stock? What if you could pay your mortgage with your Facebook stock?
What is a bank? What is a Microsoft credit?
What has better service, the government or the Apple store?
Is a person’s social capital a reliable indicator of a person’s credit worthiness?
People are avatars. Sorry to say, but that might be the meaning of life. You interact with the world through thru an online identity and Facebook, Google compete with their own walled planet. But, you are in Prime and they are cold warring to make it harder for you to have relationships, commercial or personal, with anybody, place or thing that is not also on Prime.
Prime needs a few more adds to the ecosystem to make the complex system complete. When this happens, and it will be soon, you’ll never be able to leave Prime, you won’t want to. You will hate the other planets, propaganda, marketing does that. Maybe one day you or your children will go to war carrying the Prime logo.
Prime needs to burst through some obstacles:
Voice is easier than typing that same request into a search engine. When Amazon gets deeper in they will own the voice interaction and can intercept and predict behaviors before anyone else.
Owning the Pipes and plumbing is a growing imperative for Prime, a secured infrastructure will keep your data and constrain competing planets from tapping your identity. Prime will have to buy physical networks (cable and phone companies) and alternative connections (community wifi). They will argue with the old (dying) gods that physical network owners shouldn’t be allowed to use the data they carry (an argument they just lost in Congress but will likely resurrect on privacy grounds) and that they should be able to buy preferential access (the “network neutrality” debate they are now winning in that same Congress). Could a pipe owner grow its own network? The folks at Verizon apparently think so: that’s why they bought AOL and Yahoo
Autonomous services will self-initiate based on observing past behavior and current context. Users won’t need to purposely select them. It will be always on in the background. Will your servant really be your master?
You will delegate as many decisions to Prime as possible, soon we will see them complete your identity with things like medical prescriptions before you even know you need them. If you ordered a lot of alcohol yesterday you need aspirin today. Prime will restock your refrigerator and order you on-demand transportation. This saves the effort of making individual sales and, more important, eliminates opportunities for people to take vacations outside of Prime. You will grow to trust that Prime will make the right decisions on your behalf. Gathering more data is one key to this; artificial intelligence to make good decisions with that data is another
Artificial Intelligence Governing System of Prime will be your community activist, your liaison to political representatives, your legislature, judge, news and bank. But, this is not a dictatorship! Trust is the result of experience so making good ‘lifestyle governance’ decisions is stacked. AIGSP will earn more permissions to make more decisions. But, it will be impossible for you to know if the ecosystem is really making the best possible choices because they are not showing those other nuisance things like lower prices, widely divergent opinions and all that stupid stuff.
Prime is built, its flags are planted, people are migrating.
Citizenship is hereditary