Daniel, this is a good point, probably representative of the way many people think, especially those with existing business or ambitions in big data.

With intelligent surveillance technologies increasingly on us every day, every decision you make, every expression you make of your opinion, of what you see in the world, is something that could go towards shaping the world.

Imagine the election which voted in Mr Trump had been conducted in this way. Imagine everyone who voted one way or another was paid a basic token representing their vote. Imagine the value of that token paid was set thereafter by people’s opinions on events following the election. By the eyes of the collective, if good things happened as a result of the election outcome, the token value would increase. If bad things happened, the token value would decrease.

Now imagine also that the collective is all of the people in the world, and that the election of Mr Trump was something raised automatically, by a large number of people expressing a common opinion, that there should be such an election, and that subsequently Mr Trump could be just as easily automatically de-elected, if events following the election turned out to be not so good in the eyes of the collective.

Everyone who participates in such voting would have a stake in the outcome. Votes with big effects on the world would have big effects on the token. All votes made, all expressions of opinion could have serious consequence.

It would be in everyone’s interests to make sure their votes would most likely result in good outcomes, in the eyes of the collective.

The market value of a token is set in exactly this way. If people like what the token represents, it goes up in value. If people dislike it, it goes down in value.

To get an idea of the financial value of an individual expression of your opinion in such a network, consider that the total market value of the token is predicted simply by the square of the number of users in the network, multiplied by the network utility co-efficient (Metcalfe’s law, applied to crypto-currency networks, in multiple peer reviewed academic papers).

The utility co-efficient of a network that could drive world events whilst paying people as just described would be many orders of magnitude higher than any we’ve seen previously. With billions of users, the value of such a token is almost beyond calculation.

Suffice to say you would not need to be holding very many to have a very good income indeed.

Can you see this is a different concept, a far more valuable consideration of real value, both to the individual, and to the world, than the prospects of profits that might be achievable from marketing “Big data”?


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