Thursday, 16 November 2006

Post Singularity Social Simulation

Second Life is getting BIG, and keeps having various interesting problems: e.g. homogenising swarms of self replicators (akin to a risk of advanced nano-tech) and recently this mini debacle (after a online 'business' in second life shut down due to all it's products presumably being copied and freely distributed by some helpful citizen with a 'copybot').
This is entirely reminiscent of the situation in Charles Stross's "Singularity sky" when a technologically repressed society suddenly gains the ability to transcend an economy of scarcity (i.e. they get replicator factories). It is also a very pertinent simulation for big issues of change in the real world. Showing the possible dangers of self replicating technology, especially seeing as we can't restart reality after editing certain annoyances out of existence!

The big issue here though is IP (Intellectual Property). Certainly the thorniest issue of this decade in my opinion (and likely a few to come). What's happening in second life spells out exactly the situation we will be in 40 years from now; you just can't own information! The transition to this state is already well under way. Record companies, movie big wigs and the like, having a hard time accepting this, will have to bite the bullet soon and find a way to make money in a new style market, or face seriously humiliating closure (like the second life start up).

No comments :

Post a Comment