the idea of a digital high 5 five, or desktop pat on the back, literal merit points a type of measurable approval rating. Although to me in the book a sad commentary on the superficiality of today's youth movement and their emphasis on social status, monetary wellstanding and popularity. Some of these things do have value. Our American post-modernist society is conflicted. Our movies and books taught individuality, simplicity, intangibles, spirituality, good morals, ethics, and wholesome values, at the same time we exploit hedonism, materialism, political correctness, counter cultureless, voyeurism, sexism and racism.
The idea that people would have fighter plane style heads up computer displays implanted in their corneas. Using a wireless internet connection to access status on people you come in contact with is not that futuristic, from a practical sense and is really not that bad an idea. While I will not jump on the bus to trading in my biologic system for a digitally augmented one, I think there is some value to the concept of Whuffie.
Recently a company came up with moodstats that display on your website with charts and graphs of the whole worlds "mood", while this is mostly novelty, I tried it and although there was some tedium I found it useful study on myself and how much my mood affected my productivity. I think there is some important perspective that can be gain from more digitally implemented human information sources and study.
Imagine if there was a whuffie status on every webpage? How would that effect our perspective on the information that we were reading, viewing and interacting with? Or how about if your cellphone/handheld emitted a Whuffie status when a service guy came to fix the heater, or you had a few drinks with a woman at the bar, or while a sales pitch was made in a business meeting?
First off we need to identify in what ways would we determine the accumulation of Whuffie and how and if it would expire? Further more, how one won merit and from what sources it was derived.
I think you would fill out a form about yourself that would give you points for aptitude for goodness, life achievements, professional and domestic skills, The Whuffie Achievement Test (WAT). Charles Manson would start with minus 5 million units of whuffie (WUPM) (Don't even ask me about prison whufie) Where as Gandhi would have 500 WUPM (Whuffie Units Per Million)
You could also give Wuffie to others. The "stroke" whuffie or whuffie given to you by others would be like an approval rating. (I don't think you could take it back.)
All these could be broken down and viewed with charts and individual unit counts. Also I think new Whuffie categories would keep appearing on your whuffie reader.
Well that is it for tonight's meditation. I will get some shout out connected, and we will think about actual implementation and some pros and cons of actually creating this merit system.
By the way if you have not purchased or downloaded the Cory Doctorow book Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom you should if you want to understand what the dickens I am talking about.