Reputation As Property

Is reputation the new form of property in virutal economies? This question is examined in an interesting article in the Yale Law Journal.

According to Joseph Blocher, sites like Facebook have a reputational economy; social status and the respect of others is a form of property.

Virtual reputational economies show that reputation can be gained, lost, traded, protected, and shared, all in property-like fashion, without regard to whether it has independent economic value. In other words, reputation is not merely valuable; it is the new New Property.

He notes that the law has long been concerned with reputation in the real world - the protection of reputation from unjust harm; an example would be the development of defamation law. But in the virtual world, reputation is like property even when there is no real-world market value.

Facebookers are engaged in a sometimes-competitive enterprise of acquiring, possessing, and protecting reputation. Through their efforts, they gain reputation, which they then feel entitled to protect (from gossip or insults, for example), to share or give (for example by including friends in a high-status clique or otherwise endorsing them), and otherwise to treat as they see fit. They own their reputations, whether or not those reputations ever interact with the real-world economy.

Science fiction writers have already spent time exploring the idea of a reputation-based economy. In his excellent 1976 short story The Moon Moth, Jack Vance uses the concept of strakh:

Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh. Every man has his characteristic strakh, which determines, when he needs a houseboat, whether he will be urged to avail himself of a floating palace... or grudgingly permitted an abandoned shack on a raft. There is no medium of exchange on Sirene; the single and sole currency is strakh.
(Read more about Jack Vance's strakh)

The current generation of sf fans may be more familiar with whuffie from Cory Doctorow's 2003 novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Take a look at Blocher's article in the Yale Law Journal.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/3/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick
'A vast complex electronic organism... responsible to no one...' - Philip K. Dick, 1963.

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

51 Percent Of Job Activities Could Be Automated
'Mike did not have upsets, acquired sense of humor instead...' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

MULTI Model Of Star Trek Turbolift
Cool prototype video!

A Look Into The Future Of Spacecraft!
Ever wonder how you look when you enter a new part of a spacecraft?

An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Explored by science fiction authors.

Dadbot Digital Immortality
'A hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man's skills...'

Should We Permit Computers To Create Their Own Language?
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Breakthrough Starshot Sprites Yearn For Alpha Centauri
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon...'

Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Astronaut Exercise Video, Predicted By SF Writers
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses.'

First Crewless Ship? Umm
Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship?

RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'

JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'

Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'

Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'

Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'

Cellphone Harvests Power From Ambient Radio Signals And Light
A battery-free phone.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.