The Connected Society

A few commentators have focused on Singapore as an intelligent island that has been developed through modern technocapitalism. Singaporeans have ready access to computer technology, and IT has penetrated many aspects of their society. The country has a unique culture, and seems to be relatively peaceful.

Recommended Reading (PDF): Intelligent Island Discourse: Singapore’s Discursive Negotiation With Technology

This has led some to wonder whether or not the Singaporean model of development is the direction other societies may take in the future. One could also use the Singapore example to show how people become peaceful when they have connections that they don’t wish to sever. This is true even when the connections are digital.

That’s not to say that Singapore doesn’t have any problems. Where there are humans, there will be problems…always. But the country’s success is often cited in journal articles discussing the theory of technocapitalism and is at least worthy of further examination/discussion. These principles will probably vary for each society due to customs, traditions, history, etc. Nevertheless, the idea that building connections lessens social deviance is a valid theory. Most people will avoid ruining their lives when they have a good thing going for them in the interest of self-preservation. Since technology is helping people to build connections at a rate far beyond anything in prior history, most individuals are likely to cause trouble when their actions are spotlighted (or perhaps even predicted with enough data).

This is one reason the connected society may be a good thing. Take away criminal acts and society benefits greatly. On the other hand, with a truly connected society (I’m not talking about Facebook here…but REAL connectedness), invariably there will be increased governmental monitoring.  Whether people are willing to accept this in exchange for a more peaceful world and greater efficiencies…well, things will likely have to get much worse before this ever happens.

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