Does society need more polymaths?

What would be the first form of government to form a society / economy after scarcity? [Closed]

I will suggest that the answer is a reversal to an old form of government called "timocracy". In ancient times, this amalgamation of citizenship and land ownership was, in a sense, a bond between landowners and the community, as they had a lot to lose if they were not responsible for things.

In a society after scarcity, matter and energy are so inexpensive that nobody is materially disadvantaged. If you want a car, you can have one. If you want college or university education, you can get one. Travel or Access to Information? No problem.

The only things that would be limited in such a society would be bandwidth and time (because we are in this budget always follow the laws of the universe). People would not measure their "wealth" by the coin of the empire, but by things like reputation or talent. As an example, consider a person with a social media account. When they have thousands of followers, they are highly regarded and realistically cannot communicate with all of their followers individually. When this person looks at you turning to work on a project is almost like winning a lottery or getting a job for a multi-billionaire.

The "tied to the country" part of the equation comes from measuring reputations or other ratings. Just because you are a senior moderator on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange would not lead to high standing in a financial forum or when dealing with artisans building a space colony. Your reputation or talent is tied to a specific area of ‚Äč‚Äčexpertise or life and you can even seriously damage your reputation if you leave the reservation and try to use your talents or expertise where they are not relevant or applicable. Obviously this wouldn't apply to polymaths like a reborn Leonardo Da Vinci, but it would be the Steve Jobs, Peter Theils of Elon Musks of that time.

There would be a couple of placeholders as well. Space settlements would be more insular because of their distance and the time lag in getting information to and from them (even at the speed of light). When you see a question on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange and get an exciting answer from your home wrapping Neptune, it means your answer will be delayed many hours after the question has been sent and you may respond after the question is already closed or a successful one Answer was selected. A strong AI would also have to be treated differently, as it would be able to think thousands or millions of times faster than a human or a biological post-human, and therefore, compared to normal biological beings, it could seemingly access and manipulate time and bandwidth .

In a society built on these principles, governance would most likely fall on those who have demonstrated enough merit to develop a reputation that others will follow, or at least give serious thought to their opinions and suggestions for action. Since the primary role of governance in today's society (protection of individual rights and freedoms, ownership of property and the rule of law) may have been replaced by what could essentially be viewed as the courts of public opinion within each individual grouping. When you have a good reputation and your suggestions have observable positive results for your group, you will become a leader and be in control of your group. How you fare in other groups you belong to depends on where you are in those groups.

Cameron Leary

The linked website for Timocracy states that power comes from wealth / land. I assume that based on the rest of your answer, this would be replaced by your reputation in the field of expertise and level of education. Am I correct in this observation?


Instead of "country" it would be where your reputation is based. For example, a plumber would have a hard time exploiting his reputation on a brickwork.