Now we’re entering a new era when the
village seems about to return. With our
senses and memories enhanced
prodigiously by new prostheses,
suddenly we can “know” the reputations
of millions, soon to be billions, of fellow
Earth citizens. A tap of your VR
eyeglasses will identify any person,
along with profiles and alerts, almost as
if you had been gossiping about him
and her for years.
It’s seriously scary prospect and one
that is utterly unavoidable. The cities we
grew up in were semi-anonymous only
because they were primitive. The
village is returning. And with it
serious, lifelong worry about that state of
our reputations. Kids who do not know
this are playing with fire. They had better
hope that the village will be a nice one.
A village that shrugs a lot, and forgives.
— David Brin, 2007