12 Nov 2015

Why Ceptr? or Transcending Maslow's Hierarchy

in Ceptr, Collective Intelligence, Currency, Currency Design, Evolution, Flow, Flows, Language, Money

A friend of mine (Sheri Herndon) just sent me an email which I replied to. My response felt like it should be capture (and probably expanded or built on more in the future) for a glimpse of why we're building Ceptr.  In fairness, she knows a lot of what I write in my answer, but it was in part to share the purpose behind Ceptr to the others copied on the message who I may meet tomorrow at the Platform Cooperativism Conference..

From Sheri:

09 Nov 2015

Is there anything that can’t be Monetized?

in Currencies, Deep Wealth, Industrial Age Economy, Money

Putting all of nature into the economic meat grinder to make money[This question was asked by Rachel Haywire in a private Facebook group where I occasionally participate. I'd like to share my answer, because I think it's important in understanding the nature of monetization - what it's good for, and what it's not.]

I'd like to reframe just a bit. There are many things that *should not* be monetized or commoditized, but if we peel back our veil of justifications and self-delusions about money, we fundamentally use money (as configured today) as gambling tokens for speculative wealth. So then your question becomes, "Is there anything that somebody isn't willing to place gambling stakes on?" And the answer becomes more obvious. "No. Some idiot will be willing to price/gamble on/monetize just about anything." Of course, that is not to say such a price is a reflection of its real value or worth, just its current standing in a particular gambling market.

Many things have no value to a particular person at a precise time in a specific context. Every system of valuation (currency) is contextual valuing some things and not others, for example, day care has dollar value in our economy, stay-at-home-parenting does not.

12 Nov 2014

Magical Power Objects and Sociopaths

in Deep Wealth, Greed, Magic, Money, Power

Fantastical visions of special objects which grant unlimited power seem to hold a compelling place in the human mythos. The Book of Thoth. Zeus’ thunderbolt. The names of God. The Ring of Gyges/Odin/ Solomon/Sauron. The genie in the lamp. The Spear of Destiny. The magic wand. The Holy Grail. The alchemist’s stone.Genie Lamp

The myths typically warn us about the dangers of pursuing power objects. The lesson usually involves undesirable consequences to the fixated pursuer, or accidental consequences to the world or at least their loved ones.  Yet the pursuer continues, ignoring the damage they cause.

The stories point to a deep pathological weakness in humans – the temptation of magical power. Think of how nice it sounds for you to be able to magically summon your heart’s desires without concern for the consequences. I mean, what real consequences could there be? It’s magic, right?  “Poof! I have whatever I want.”

These stories are not all fictional. In many ways, the conquistador’s pursuit of gold during the period of Spanish exploration, was this kind of thing. The Nazi’s pursuit of supernatural weapons. The modern investment banker’s pursuit of money.

Yes.  That’s right.  I said money.

01 Nov 2014

Who should issue our currency?

in Currencies, Decentralization, Money

The concept is really simple.

Since it is ALL OF US who create value, I believe it is ALL OF US who need to maintain our capacities to choose how to measure and account for the value we create.

If we surrender this ability to any special or narrow interest group (and like it or not, the government is one of those) then we surrender control of the value we create.

29 Oct 2009

Critical reasons to expand our perception of Currencies

in Currencies, Money, Social DNA

On the Complementary Currency Skype channel we've got going, there was brief but old standard debate going on about fiat vs. mutual credit currencies.

I chimed in with:

21 Aug 2009

Currency Quips for Later Development

in Currency, Gifts, Money, Social Contracts

[Reposted from New Currency Frontiers]

I wrote these responses in the comments thread on this article about The End of Social Movements. There are some currency issues in them that I want to capture for later deeper discussion, so I'm reposting here so I'll know where to find them.

Money and Power Pathologies

Will – I think you make a good point that they’re ability to fool us, does not make them the same thing in essence. And I even like your lunch money metaphor.

So consider this: We start making alternative lunch money. It is only accepted at our own food carts, and participation is completely voluntary. The corporate thieves/bullies/thugs/raiders can only use it for lunch in that community and there’s only so much lunch they can eat.

However, if they can’t use it to buy up real estate, bribe politicians, make speculative investments, build their empire of power an anonymity, then it isn’t worth their time and energy to steal.

28 Jan 2009

Predictable Living Systems

in Currency, Living Systems, Money

A non-deterministic system is not quite the same as a non-predictable one. This is where probability comes into play and makes me think we're really on the right track with currencies as tools for expressing/modeling complex, living systems.

[BTW, I still can't post replies, so I'm making this a main blog post even though it started out as a reply to Alan's post "Do currencies describe living systems?"]