The goals of pubwan

1. Make consumer intelligence less contingent on income.

This is probably even less likely than making consumer income less contingent on intelligence. But if you're going to dream, you may as well dream big.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, by consumer intelligence, I mean intelligence gathered and analyzed by consumers, not (necessarily) intelligence about consumers, or table scraps from the intelligence community that happen to be available to consumers.

2. Compete against competition.

If this were possible, the expression "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" would probably not be so widely recognized. Don't be surprised if people say I'm a dreamer. There seems to be growing consensus that competition can't be beat. This is a bummer, considering my track record at it. According to classical economic doctrine (as I misunderstand it)

a. Competition and efficiency tend to go together

b. Both of the above tend to go hand in hand with information abundance.

Goal 1 above seeks to monkeywrench all but the most legally (and hopefully ethical, i.e. personal privacy) hallowed signals concerning who is eligible to be informed about something. This goal underlies actions as revolutionary as teaching literacy to slaves, or as lame and innocent as pointing out to a fellow-shopper at the supermarket that a competing supermarket has a lower price on something you saw in their cart.

The goals outlined above are goals I originally had in mind for pubwan. They aren't really the goals of pubwan per se. After all, at this point (as far as I know) there is no pubwan. If there were a pubwan, I would hope nobody would care what goals people have in mind when building/using it. If there's one thing I cherish, it's the idea that everyone has a right to an opinion of their own choosing. I hope everyone gets something they like out of pubwan. That way it might gain a widespread reputation as a benevolent technology.

2 February, 2002

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