Also in the contemporary world, we are currently constrained to an embodied form, but there would be no such requirement in the digital societies of the future. Digital identity could become so distributed, portable, copiable, open-sourceable, sharable, malleable, and shardable, that it no longer makes sense to think in terms of entities. Instead of entities, personal identities, or embodied containers, there could be ephemeral instances; thinking, informational, actional, enjoyful, subjectivational instances. The question would then be how to enable smartnetwork operations in a post-entity society, perhaps one in which ‘ephemeral instances of capability and creativity’ have replaced identity-bounded entities.
One answer is that reputation could still matter. Even if not a full-fledged identity-entity, any instance, any measurable quantum, any participation no matter how ephemeral could still have a reputation. Reputations could become a lot more complicated, measuring different levels like actor, action, and intention, and also line-item credit for contributions and new ideas. Composite team reputations could be calculated for sharded groupmind participations. All this is could be possible through technology like blockchains that afford more granularity and accessibility in record-keeping.
Thus teputation might persist as a validation mechanism, even in advanced scenarios like post-entity digital societies. However, the trick will be to enact reputation assessment schemas that are not completely externally-imposed and outside the purview of the agent being evaluated. Preferable is re-envisioning reputation as a mechanism to empower the liberty and expression possibilities of the entities or instances being reputationified. This is an immanence reputation, one that is reflective of criteria self-determined by the agent and that accentuates its possibilities. The predictive analytics of the big data era could be applied to the development of reputational mechanisms to encourage agent futurity and potentiality realization as opposed to those that solely based on past acts.