The Death of Politics?

As millions of Americans head to voting booths today to cast their ballots for local and state elections, we’re drawn to a fascinating article in The Guardian, which poses the question: “If technology is increasingly providing the answers to society’s problems, what happens to governments?”

Evidence-1Check out the excerpt below, and the full article here.

“In addition to making our lives more efficient, this smart world also presents us with an exciting political choice. If so much of our everyday behaviour is already captured, analysed and nudged, why stick with unempirical approaches to regulation? Why rely on laws when one has sensors and feedback mechanisms? If policy interventions are to be – to use the buzzwords of the day – ‘evidence-based’ and ‘results-oriented,’ technology is here to help.”

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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Conversely, my life is already pretty good, but could use less government interference. The fact is not that government can do more, but that it must do less. Thanks to technology, perhaps never was the government less necessary. As a matter of fact, it has proven to be a more of a hindrance than a help. We’ll do fine with less of it.

  2. I’ve actually thought about this WRT SmartThings! I’d love to see civil governance that is dramatically more data-driven and brutally efficient. In an age where 3 month agile dev cycles are normal and ‘fail fast’ is encouraged, how can we apply those principals to improve the lives of a city, state, or country? The pessimist in me realizes that government often discourages this sort of innovation, though. Find me a politician with a public Trello board and ability to _actually_ automate and modernize these draconian systems. Without a profit incentive or true accountability, many of these agencies that need it the most are content to mindlessly follow the status quo. In some cases (such as verifiable identity for secure systems), there are historical and legal hindrances.

  3. Government has very little to do with empirical evidence and data, unfortunately. It exists, in theory, to represent the moral compass of the governed. In reality, it exists to preserve itself. Regardless, government does not tend towards efficiency. There are thousands upon thousands of laws on the books that would be replaced if evaluated objectively based on their impact to net average health and economy.


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