Found out this week that the “direct deposit” tax idea that was the foundation of my March 2007 Ornery American essay was actually published in the Summer 1993 issue of The Whole Earth Review. Ain’t that a kick in the teeth?
It was a prediction made by Kevin Kelly as part of an “Unthinkable Futures” piece he wrote with Brian Eno:
Software gains allow a certain portion of taxes to fall to the discretion of the payer. John Public can assign X amount of his taxes toward one service, to the exclusion of another. It’s a second vote that politicians watch closely.
I saw it this past Thursday, quoted on Futurismic. The Futurismic story referenced a BoingBoing piece I’d seen earlier in the week, but the quote didn’t appear in the BB item.
I went back into my archives and found the original version of my essay: I wrote it in February 1996. So even though the essay was over a decade old before I polished it enough to be publishable, the central idea was older and put forward by someone not me. Which goes to show that many people can have the same idea at close to the same time, but not everyone will do the same thing with it.
Still, my teeth hurt a little.by