How is social media already preparing us for a reputation economy? According to Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, it is doing so by virtually simulating a gift economy.
By doing this in an environment where the consequences for failing in this type of economic exchange are nil, we are learning the basic ideas we would need to construct a reputation economy which uses a mixture of social networking and reviews in order to generate reputation scores, or some other similar idea. With encryption and free market variety, these economic and social paradigms are becoming a real possibility in our lifetimes.
I just hope that Zuckerberg is not in charge. The things he has done with Facebook indicate that he is not fully seeing beyond the unsustainable endless growth paradigm of the dying industrial age.