To understand the problem here, two observations are important to consider. The first is part of the argument of Robert Bork's book The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law
where he makes the case for local laws over national laws because with national laws you have people trying to control the lives of people they know nothing about. The second is science fiction author Larry Niven's concept of a flash crowd. Niven figured that if we ever developed teleporter technology, any interesting event on the glob would suddenly turn into a mob scene as everyone teleported in to see it for themselves, possibly leading to riots and so on. What we have courtesy of the Internet are virtual flash crowds. People from around the globe can show up in an instance to opine about something happening anywhere on the globe and can just as effortlessly send their opinion off to almost anyone they want.
Basically, we now and care too much about what strangers we know nothing about are doing and everyone is a critic wabout what everyone else is doing. Why? Because we can. Effortlessly.
Larry Niven is a fantastic sci-fi writer.
His concept of flash crowd (while not global, as in [free] teleportation) has actually already transpired via "flash mob" , mostly practiced by liberal and other radical groups swamping places of meetings or causing supposedly "spontaneous" demonstrations or disruptions, using Internet communication technology.
While not teleporting masses of people, technology allows organizing them in the places where they are already nearby.
And Niven's Laws are great.
posted on 02/18/2009 8:39:58 PM PST
(If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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