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A Virtuous, Virtual City-State

Have you ever found yourself lamenting the decline of morality in the world? And, I don’t mean religious morality. I mean respect for living virtuously here and now — being rational, honest, independent, productive and just.

Do you sometimes feel like the cheaters and liars of the world are rewarded, while the honest people are left to do all the real work? The Internet is a good example. Who are these hacks who spend inordinate amounts of their time trying to break into websites or bombard you with annoying popups? Who writes all that malicious code intended to destroy what other people build?

Granted, our burdensome tax system and heavily regulated economy does not make it easy on wage earners. But, that’s no excuse to steal my neighbor’s bike or run a pyramid scheme.

If you’re one of the people who sees the cultural and moral decline, you’re not alone. If you long to see a “Second Renaissance” where reason rules and knowledge is pursued with the fervor of the crew of the USS Enterprise, you’ll want to check out Eject! Eject! Eject! because Bill Whittle is proposing a Virtual City-State on the Internet. He calls it Ejectia! — a kind of “wiki-university” where good people can share ideas and exchange knowledge. He writes:

Imagine a community that is dedicated to the idea of each man and woman improving themselves, by sharing with one another the skills and expertise they themselves have accumulated. This would be not only a forum, but a free, online, wiki-university, where members can contribute their wisdom and passion in fields ranging from Civil Defense and Unarmed Combat to Single-Malt Scotch Appreciation and Quilting. I see areas where one could get free legal, mechanical, computer or any other kind of advice; job boards where decent employers can find decent employees, and postings not only from myself but from you – yes, you there – that make sense out of the issues of the day and give us all the tools we need to go back into the world and make it a better place, through argument and persuasion, yes, but mostly through example. The amount of skill and information available to 50,000 readers of your caliber – yes you — is mind-boggling, and not using it is a mind-boggling waste.

I would like to create a virtual city where we can pool our knowledge and skills, refresh our courage, re-affirm our morality and then take those virtues back out into the world and re-light the fire of liberty, courage and reason.

We, together, can build a virtual community where people can go to be refreshed, encouraged, educated, entertained and improved. Such a place will invariably produce better citizens and better citizens make a better society.

I want to call this place Ejectia! It’s a silly name. It’s good not to take this stuff too seriously.

And I have a charming idea that the first thing you see at the Ejectia! main page is a photo-realistic, computer-rendered, empty valley. Then, when the Discussion Hall module is ready, say, a forum building appears in the valley. You click the forum to get to the discussion hall. As each new module is added, the city grows before your eyes. The seasons change with the real world, too. Over time, an endlessly expanding movie is posted, showing the slow growth and increasing complexity of the virtual city.

And this is only what one person can visualize. Eject! Eject! Eject! belongs to Bill Whittle. But Ejectia! belongs to everyone, equally. What wonders can five thousand imagine? What glorious mental bridges can 50,000 people build?”

Bill poses two thought-provoking questions to those interested in joining his virtual community: What do you know? and Can you teach it?

The questions are so simple, and yet so humbling at the same time. He reminded me that the pursuit of knowledge is the noblest endeavor there is.

Bill, may you live long and prosper.

2 comments to A Virtuous, Virtual City-State

  • I too am a big Whittle fan, although he goes for such long stretches without posting that I forget about him occasionally. Thanks for the heads-up! Adding you to my RSS reader for regular perusal.

  • Thanks! I visited your site, MuditaJournal, and enjoyed it very much. Now you’re on my list. It’s always nice to hear from a fellow Objectivist.