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Opinion and Insight

The Quasi-State

Vlad Stinikov, creative director at POSSIBLE, on a new form of public order

The Quasi-State

A robot tax. Here it is – the solution to all the problems of the mankind. The first decisive step towards building a new happy world, using the same notorious digital solutions that we are constantly buzzing about.

I want to talk about a quasi-state as a new form of public order. Over the past decade, I got used to feeling like a citizen of the world: I can work anywhere at any time convenient for me and get my money wherever I am. My mind is free. I don’t build my social circle locally, I build it globally. I don’t see borders between people in the first place. Without paying too much attention to political processes which are going on in the countries that I visit, I have a clear understanding of the fact that people live by certain, quite similar rules and laws. This observation gives me a reason to say that the concept of state and its borders become increasingly vestigial, its existence is motivated by self-interest of certain classes rather than the desire to benefit all the human race.

The boundaries of states, different currencies, fears, confusion, misunderstanding and aggression. Troops. The struggle for resources. All this brings humankind no closer to happiness.

On the other side, there is an obvious fact facing the current situation: The Internet has hacked the system on a global scale, so we are not even aware of this. However, it allows us to predict our future. So, what will it be like?

To answer this question, I will try to address the most obvious fundamental changes available to us here and now. Let’s discuss the future of politics, economy, national identity, resources, human freedom, law and the court system.

Economy. We’ll live in a completely free market. A brand new understanding of labour as any act aimed at the creation is going to emerge. You get money for your work anywhere and the way you choose, you invent it yourself without waiting for market demand or request from people or the government to appear, you shape the market according to your occupation. The notion of cost is changing. If previously an important factor was the belief, akin to religion, that you must pay that much for Louis Vuitton just because it is a lovemark and a symbol of belonging, now the new paradigm recognises the hugely important role of adequacy, originality and uniqueness. The true value of a product is impossible to hide, because all is verifiable (for example, it can already be done with the help of this funny device). Everything will depend on the market demand for you.

There will be a new form of property – rejection of it. This year’s trend – people are selling their cars because Uber and car sharing services have made the cost of daily use of this new infrastructure cheaper than the cost of a car and its subsequent maintenance. This renunciation of property will lead to the growth of economy of sharing – Airbnb is a great example.

We will share it all. And above all – we’ll share our ideas.

The idea itself is worth nothing – only its execution and implementation have value. Freedom of ideas and their development nourishes and nurtures quasi-states. Why so many ideas? Robots are cheapening and the processes are becoming automated – that frees millions of people whose only job from now is to think, to invent and create with a view to improving our lives.

Changes are to take place in the business management and the approach to asset management. The primary thing is the idea which you can implement with the help of total automation of processes and performers. The activity itself is based on renting and sharing of tools – remotely, online.

For example, you loan land from the government and rent drones from a private owner, predict what exactly will be in demand this fall. On the basis of your program (yes, you write it yourself) and analysis of big data – weather, preferences of population or market, tendencies – you send the rented robots into fields – first those which will handle the soil, then those which will harvest. Have you made a right prediction? – well done to you. Haven’t? – you receive allowance from the quasi-state, because the winner is the one who is intelligent and farseeing.

Where does this allowance come from?

The tax on robots that Bill Gates refers to. Robots will have to pay for their existence. Corporations that are introducing robots need to organise business processes in such a way that they save human labour and lead society to a new redistribution of resources and the realisation of aquasi-state model. Now Apple has more money than the US government. The very existence of global corporations proves that the idea of quasi-state can be implemented.

In the new world, we will see co-operation growing – from the gift economy to the products created through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.

New money will come to being – or put it better – their absence. This new money is the effectiveness of your decisions. The amount of content you have created for others. How will they look like? Bitcoins? Likes? The type of currency is a conventionality, what will be evaluated is the importance and satisfaction of all those who participate in the process of information consumption.

The place and status in this new state are defined by your programming skills: description of any process through code. The more sophisticated and easier script you create, the more it is understandable and optimized, the better movements of robots are adjusted, as well as their activities – the higher place you occupy in the social hierarchy. This society does not need "talking heads", it needs people who actually create the product.

Creativity and intellectual abilities make politics and economy merge into one entity.

We see that the current political system has turned into a post-truth game. Populism has eventually become the basis of the political process. People living in the new state admit: politics is unnecessary, it is transformed into information noise and its content is far from being useful and effective. With a total digitalisation and automation of all processes, we cannot believe that the war between someone and someone is necessary – even if this someone tries to make it seem like a necessary step. People themselves can verify news, filter out fakes, make sure that the information they receive is valuable and truthful, and they certainly would not be fooled. There'll be no need for leaders who call themselves people's mouthpiece – technologies will perform that duty. We'll have to put a limit on people’s influencing key decisions. Remarkably, most plane crashes are blamed on people and their decisions, not technology. In most cases, if people in an emergency had acted on the instructions of a computer, the number of casualties would have been much less. We must learn to delegate decision-making to artificial intelligence.

The very essence of homo will change – a new spiral of evolution fuelled by the merging of man and machine, with the technology being a continuation of our ecosystem, rather than by a many-million-years-long changing of human biology and physiology. Not only will new comfortable devices, helping to expand the visible reality, change us, but also the implantation of chips will contribute to this process. Our soul will also become different.

This elusive entity, our personality, will be recorded in the digital DNA and live independently.

Eugene Chereshnev has described very well the problems and tragedies we are going to face. A new understanding of “leaving a trail” –  Hansel and Gretel who represent our conscious and unconscious will be able to find their way home following the bread crumbs of your cookies. And even that fight – a crusade against fascismization of our online life on Facebook and Google – looks like a fight between an innocent fly and an elephant.

A complete absence of current borders awaits us in a quasi-state, culture and identity, however, will be preserved.

Originality, individuality, distinctiveness will be valuable in their own right. Unique and interesting personal traits will determine your value. And even if you're just a guy from some small town’s sleeping community, you can find your niche and become popular.

Meet new formats of social networks and connections: a separate network of robots and the Internet of things, separate network for the orthodox Christians (they already have a search engine), multilevel Facebook with/without politics, with trash, etc.

What is most important, we’ll actually become a part of each other. In the Vedic tradition, there is a formula – Tat Tvam Asi – You are that, or That you are – that states that we are a part of everything, and everything is a part of us. God is within each of us, and each of us is a part of God. A new Internet – where all of us will be all at once – it's a genuine embodiment of a new level of social ties and networks.

We’ll be born with the Internet.

The Constitution will guarantee that everyone is provided with a free Internet access, which Finland has already put into practice. And this will become inevitable for us all, because we will be followed by self-organized hordes of drones with Wi-Fi. Of course, they will not pay attention to borders – they will destroy the very notion of the state border. There’ll be so many drones that their shootdowns will become too costly. The maintenance of the infrastructure to stop their constant movement (from blocks to special radio traps) will be too expensive. An easier way is to change society and get rid of demarcation lines. Global corporations understand how things change and redistribute goods and invest in people of the future spreading the Internet across the board. Some good examples – Facebook and AT&T.

Law and the court system. Decision-making will be fully automated and won’t be influenced by human emotions, which will strengthen the basis of quasi-states. Over the millennia, the institute of court has been around, mankind has accumulated knowledge that can be automated and delegated to robots. It is they who, following Asimov's Laws, will create real rather than fictional justice. Man will be almost completely excluded from the process - humanism postulates will finally arrive in force. Salvation from decision-making is the salvation for humankind. 

It is not communism. Not socialism. Not oligarchy. This is a new -ism.

It can be defined as meritocracy, however, there is no censorship, except for the personality. You have a unique identity – and it is both your censorship and something that is of interest to the public.

But, of course, this will happen if we don’t sink in a new jihad – in the war against machines. This was mentioned by Frank Herbert in "Dune": his hero has abandoned technology in favor of developing his own abilities - mind and body.

One thing is certain – our tomorrow will be very interesting. Which one would you prefer?

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Chief Creative Officer : Vlad Sitnikov

Genre: Digital , People