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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Freedom: There’s an App for That

Mobile, peer-to-peer tech makes us freer, safer, and happier

Over at Reason TV, Nick Gillespie and Josh Swain are pushing the idea that our mobile devices are more than just fancy talking boxes; they’re also ways to make us freer.

And, of course, we agree. As Max Borders wrote in the Freeman feature “Do You Have the Civil Disobedience App?“, once technology starts to change our behaviors, our behaviors might start to change our “social technology”:

Today’s peer-to-peer civil disobedience is tomorrow’s emergent law.

In other words, the way the best law has always come about is not through a few wise rulers getting together and writing up statutes; rather, it emerges among people interacting with each other and wanting to avoid conflict. When peaceful people are engaging in peaceful activity, they want to keep it that way. And when people find new and creative ways to interact peacefully, old laws can be obstructions.

So as we engage in peer-to-peer civil disobedience, we are making choices that are leading to the emergence of new law, however slowly and clumsily it follows on. This is a beautiful process, because it requires not the permission of rulers, but rather the assent of peer communities. It is rather like democracy on steroids, except we don’t have to send our prayers up through the voting booth in November.

If the law doesn’t adapt to our changing behaviors, it will eventually become broken — in nearly every sense of the phrase.

The “peer progressives” are thinking of ways to make apps change laws. Networked libertarians are thinking of ways to let apps make law.

Note: Stay tuned for 99 Ways to Leave Leviathan, the eBook based on 50 Ways and 50 More Ways.

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