Sunday, October 23, 2005

Maximizing the power of individuals

I'm not only skeptical of the power governments have over the lives of individuals, but also the power corporations have over the lives of individuals. Yes, private companies are [almost always] more effective at accomplishing something than government, but that doesn't mean I think private companies should control society. Rather, individuals should control their own lives. To me, this is the maximum level of freedom.

So that's why I think Outfoxed is neat. It gives individuals the ability to influence how a site is perceived by other individuals. It allows individuals to view, edit, and read comments from other individuals about any website. So people can be "socially-aware surfers" or learn how a website treats spyware. Basically, it informs individuals and allows them to hear all sides of the story about whatever website their visiting. Sure, such a system is vulnerable to false information, spin, and bias, but so is Wikipedia, and the users of Wikipedia have effectively dealt with such potential problems to make it one of the most informative, reliable, and oft-used sites on the internet.

The influence of Outfoxed may be small, but I think it is indicative of a trend for society to become more individualized and for individuals be become more empowered. More individual power is synonymous with more individual freedom. This is good.

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