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Truth is stranger than fiction

Written by

Andrew Millar

Date

January 2, 2009

I had a great idea for a Science Fiction novel the other day. And I figure rather than writing it down and sending it to myself in a Registered Letter; so I can prove that I had this idea long before Dan Brown turns it into another sequel of the Da Vinci Code, I’d publish a brief outline here. (And then hope that someone else comes up with the same idea so I can claim half their profits…)

Anyway, here’s the idea…

In a world not too far away a new nation of people rise up and take control of the world. Lead by a charismatic leader, they cross borders on mass and over-through governments, unseat monarchies and generally rearrange world order.

But the twist is that this upstart country that reeks so much havoc on an unsuspecting world has no definable borders of it’s own. Its actions were not based on a desire to reclaim traditional lands lost or confiscated in previous skirmishes.

The ideal that motivates its armies is simply the idea that change is necessary. They are not motivated by a desire for oil, or water. They are not materialist fighters. They are ideological warriors.

So who are these people? Well, my hoarding, swarming righteousness are simply the citizens of the Free Republic of Facebook. Or call it MyFace or SpaceFace or Twitbook or something. The whole notion is that people united by a sense of belonging to a social network could combine with such power as to alter the world…

Just think for a moment. If Facebookers were a country it would currently be the 10th largest country by population in the world. And I think they already are.

If you don’t believe me: look at what constitutes a country. Consider the things you need to be declared a nation….

For a start you need a currency. Facebook has that. It’s not coinage though… it is credibility. If you are credible on social networks you can wield a wealth of power. (The really cleaver people are the ones who can convert that credibility back to money in the real world.)

You need a form of government. Well Facebook has that. It’s true democracy. If you don’t like someone, you can instantly vote him or her off your site. It’s like a continuous election without the ‘how to vote’ cards.

You need a justice system. See ‘Form of Government’. The cold shoulder is stern punishment.

You need a flag. Well, a logo is the same as a flag and Facebook has one of those.

You need a leader… So here’s the interesting bit. As I have said before credibility is the currency of social networking sites. So it stands to reason that those with the most units of believability will rule. And I venture to submit that Oprah Winfrey must be the richest person in the on line world.

And you need to be recognised by, and have a seat, at the United Nations. And I guess Oprah addressing the UN might not seem as far fetched as you might think…

Cheers and Happy New Year to all….

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