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Speaking of which... a great music video! Cale Sampson - The Facts of War http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trmLslnnUt4 On a related but different note: I'll be at Douglas Rushkoff's Contact Summit ( http://ContactCon.com ) demoing and discussing Chagora... (offering a viable, secure and simple micro-transaction capability in traditional currencies). I suggest that the initial 'goal' for the movement should first be... not political... but "Meta-political". I.e... addressing mechanisms of representation and influence whether in existing systems of governance or in order to establish new ones. I share with you a frustration with the current system of centralized credit and currency creation and see it as a primary source of our troubles. Decision Technologies: Currencies and the Social Contract http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/07/decision-technologies-currencies-and.html Perhaps paradoxically, I'm convinced that in order to promote alternative currencies which will be attacked by entrenched interests (and have a virtually 'mythological' hold on the general population as drivers of their beliefs and actions...) That a viable path to their adoption may best be found by the establishment of the sort of user-owned, P2P transaction network I'm proposing for traditional currencies... which can (at least potentially) simultaneously offer accounts in localized and other user-desired currencies. I believe this may provide the User a level of comfort for at least experimentation with these other models... and that without that potential its going to be a very tough slog. Much of this is because the establishment of the network itself and the nature of its ownership (user-owned) will make financial sector/government opposition much more difficult to mount. Blog http://CulturalEngineer.blogspot.com Demo http://Chagora.com Leveling The Transaction Landscape: Technology and the Campfire http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2011/04/leveling-transaction-landscape.html RE the potential for the Political Micro-transaction in lobbying efforts: 150 million registered voters... Each individual inspired maybe a couple of times a week to contribute a quarter with a simple click in response to some emailed or web-based solicitation... reporting issues handled, security handled... That $7 Billion per election cycle. There's power in small money. While its not likely to go just that way. Wake-up to the potentials. * The Pooled-User-Determined (PUD) Account enables a secure, one-button micro-transaction currently not viable (and importantly... not only a micro-transaction but others as well) * Chagora's role in transaction is passive... (it does not add to cost of transaction and as such is financially equivalent to direct transaction with recipient) * This transaction has much more utility than is currently realized (collective political lobbying, payment for news/journalism and other digital content being central) * Eventually almost everyone will want this capability at least once in a while. * The very nature of the structure allowing the account also facilitates its monetization especially in charity and campaign services, corporate/charity sponsorships, sponsorships related to the Live-debate function, general and (especially) 'localized' advertising... and if this "wallet" system has potential in more general retail use... if neededsome merchant charges can be added for those commercial transactions only. * Its capability for external monetization allows it to undercut all other current payment systems (e.g. PayPal) while offering additional capabilities and advantages for the user. This makes it attractive to BOTH sides of the transaction and a likely major player in the space. * As with other peer-to-peer 'transaction' networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn)... there's a tendency towards a natural monopoly since the advantages for the user expands with the ubiquity of the network... However unlike other such networks... this one is protected by patent for its core function!!!!! Bottom Line: The micro-transaction is the key to a ubiquitous peer-to-peer network and powerful public space. Its a still unrecognized but needed utility!
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2011 on LINKS: October 16, 2011 at Global Guerrillas
Forgive a slightly off-topic comment but very relevant to the evolution of the web and innovation. It's re Facebook Credits I like Facebook alright... I signed-in with it here after all. And I love games... though I never got into any on Facebook. I wish them all good luck! BUT DOES ANYBODY UNDERSTAND THAT GAME CRAP AND AVATAR OUTFITS AREN'T REALLY THE BIGGEST DEAL IN VIRTUAL GOODS? AND WHERE THE REAL POTENTIALS FOR THE INTERNET MICRO-TRANSACTION ARE? The Commons-dedicated Account System: A self-supporting , Commons-owned neutral network of accounts for both political and charitable monetary contribution… which for fundamental reasons of scale must allow a viable micro-transaction. Such a network ideally should maintain its own cloud and bank. Accounts may be created and/or maintained with zero balances and/or only momentary balances during a pass-through transfer (monetization model requires no burden on the actual transaction.) Demo & FAQ http://www.Chagora.com A very abbreviated logic chain: 1. There’s potential in the political and speech-related microtransaction for networked citizen lobbying, candidate support, journalism, etc. if it can be harnessed. 2. Problem is the cost and hassle of the microtransaction. 3. This problem is solved by system similar to x-box points (which is how they handle microtransaction issue for certain system content). 4. Additional problem is catalyzing the network 5. Addition of charitable potentials solves this for a variety of reasons related to system monetization and a more general user-utility 6. Patent has just been granted for this mechanism: Patent #7,870,067 7. Establishment of useful network opens up new fields for empowered association 8. There are theoretical reasons for need for such a system but points 1-7 above are about a PRAGMATIC implementation. 9. Should any of the points above be in doubt (which is reasonable) ask a question. LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/culturalengineer Social Networks & The Social Organism: Healing the Breach http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2009/05/social-networks-social-organism-healing.html Finding Roots in a Shifting Landscape: Facebook and the Future of Social Networks http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2011/01/finding-roots-in-shifting-landscape.html P.S. The “How” of the one-button transaction: …. with no PIN and/or email confirm required for each transaction. This is because the system treats a ‘button push’ as a pledge rather than actual immediate call for movement of money… with ‘escrowing’ prior to actual transfer. User could make a button push only…. followed by email confirmation (which need only be periodic rather than after each transaction.) Say someone pushed a button pledging a few cents for each article or whatever proprietary short piece he was interested in reading over the period of a day or week by simply clicking a button to access the article (similar to a newspaper consumption) with NO additional pin or confirmation at that time… And then at the end of the day (or even the week, or month given good volume, user-reputation and system support) confirm via response to a single email ALL individual payments. Further… with 24/7 access to your own Commons-dedicated account you’re able to check and set additional voluntary alerts… and since account is dedicated (unconnected your other bank accounts) and may be funded only minimally (e.g. $10 or $20 at a time) when needed… security concerns can be better managed… Catalyze the Network!
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S. Thompson
"You do not become a ‘dissident’ just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. ... The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public. He offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin—and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost." Vaclav Havel
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." Mario Savio
I believe this is a necessary tool (and catalyst for others): The Commons-dedicated Account* *A self-supporting , Commons-owned neutral network of accounts for both political and charitable monetary contribution... which for fundamental reasons of scale must allow a viable micro-transaction (think x-box points for action in the Commons). The resultant network catalyzes additional functionality for co-ordination of other 'social energy' utilization. (If desired, It's also the most neutral and ultimately politically viable method for the public finance of elections.) Enabling simple networked citizen lobbying... most essentially liberated by making an online political 'micro-transaction' easily feasible for the User... (without burdening it with the transaction costs which currently keep it off the table of consideration)... catalyzes a network of accounts that, in turn facilitates opportunities for enormously reducing the costs of campaigning while bringing candidate selection closer to the people. (The political micro-contribution, even where only occasionally useful, drives the creation of a stable universally distributed network of primary importance for scaled association and decision.) Why Politics MUST be Localized http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-politics-must-be-localized.html Empowering the Commons: The Dedicated Account (Part I) http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/08/empowering-commons-dedicated-account.html Political Fundraising: Act Blue, Facebook and the Missing Network Imperative http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/08/political-fundraising-act-blue-facebook.html Personal Democracy: Disruption as an Enlightenment Essential http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/06/personal-democracy-disruption-as.html While this initial formulation is geared to the U.S. political system... its implications cross those boundaries... Credit Creation and the Building of Sustainable Economic Ecologies http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/02/credit-creation-and-building-of.html (I've just been granted patent for the core mechanism by USPTO.) LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/culturalengineer Demo & FAQ http://www.Chagora.com Developing a capable electorate involves much more than any single innovation can satisfy... however some innovations act as catalysts for greater change. This is just such a catalyst. While it may seem paradoxical... this is a lever which in time will (I believe) REDUCE the amount of money in politics, LOWER the costs of campaigns, AND lead to the development of a more responsible electorate. Capability ENABLES Responsibility... (Pssst... that's why when people feel essentially disenfranchised and helpless they scapegoat and polarize.) P.S. The political micro-contribution along with other system benefits and capabilities encourage the User to then use this system for ALL contribution political AND charitable... I'm not going to write a hundred page piece here but that, in turn leads to some real opportunities for this enterprise... and especially for it's users...
Interesting post... I don't believe this solves all the problems you touch on (my focus in anthropology is on politics and economics)... But I believe the following is a necessary tool for a viable web landscape (and catalyst for other tools as well!): The Commons-dedicated Account* *A self-supporting , Commons-owned neutral network of accounts for both political and charitable monetary contribution... which for fundamental reasons of scale must allow a viable micro-transaction (think x-box points for action in the Commons). The resultant network catalyzes additional functionality for co-ordination of other 'social energy' utilization. (If desired, It's also the most neutral and ultimately politically viable method for the public finance of elections.) Enabling simple networked citizen lobbying... most essentially liberated by making an online political 'micro-transaction' easily feasible for the User... (without burdening it with the transaction costs which currently keep it off the table of consideration)... This catalyzes a network of accounts that, in turn facilitates opportunities for enormously reducing the costs of campaigning while bringing candidate selection closer to the people. (The political micro-contribution, even where only occasionally useful, drives the creation of a stable universally distributed network of primary importance for scaled association and decision. (As a struggling entrepreneur I want to mention I've just been GRANTED A PATENT by USPTO for its groundbreaking mechanism for political/charitable contribution!!!) Empowering the Commons: The Dedicated Account (Part I) http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/08/empowering-commons-dedicated-account.html Political Fundraising: Act Blue, Facebook and the Missing Network Imperative http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/08/political-fundraising-act-blue-facebook.html Personal Democracy: Disruption as an Enlightenment Essential http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/06/personal-democracy-disruption-as.html LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/culturalengineer Demo & FAQ http://www.Chagora.com I could certainly use startup help and advice if any comes to mind.
Absolutely true! In a piece I wrote a couple of years ago I stated: "... in many cases, and as a result of the Internet's unique nature, the value is actually produced from a distributed network which extends beyond the boundaries of the entity which focuses that value into marketable form and derives the market's benefits. The Internet is a landscape not a business. But as a landscape its qualities are unlike normal geographies since proximity is fundamentally redefined (farther in space and longer in time become closer and shorter respectively). This results in both greater productivity but also reduced opportunities to extract surplus value from the points along that chain from product to consumer since that chain no longer exists." And later in the same piece: "Further, the availability of information and communication technology COMBINED with the implications of the Ultimatum Game in a shrinking and interdependent world make vast imbalances in wealth and power much LESS viable than they once were. Which suggests that a minimal drawing right against the commons for basic necessities may now be a practical necessity... in addition to the moral imperative it's always been." Miscellaneous on Status Updates, Distributed Intelligence & New Economies http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2009/05/miscellaneous-on-status-updates.html Economic 'evolution' requires the sort of 'distributed resilience' that you are also advocating. I'm convinced that the Commons-dedicated Account Network forms the root of a needed catalyst and tool for the self-organization and empowerment of new economic tribes.
Its about state co-operation which benefits large corporate interests. "Non"-intervention when your supposedly actual constituents are being bent over is criminal. They'd fire a cop who stood by and watched while a citizen was being raped... and probably hang him if he helped by holding the victim down. Government has been very helpful to this control fraud. Here's a great link you may already be familiar with but if not its worth reading: "When Fragile becomes Friable: Endemic Control Fraud as a Cause of Economic Stagnation and Collapse" http://law.fordham.edu/assets/CorporateCenter/Black_-_Fragile_becomes_Friable.pdf
Sure, I'll play! If I can choose the character class BANKSTER. Other character classes don't stand a chance... except for the POLITICIAN and ECONOMIST classes which, once they've achieved a sufficient number of experience points have the option of becoming BANKSTERS. At the highest levels of play the BANKSTER becomes a CENTRAL BANKSTER. Once this level is reached the DEMOCRACY module becomes unplayable for everybody unfortunately, regardless of their experience points. Unless, of course, the other character classes unite to take over the BANKSTER castle. That won't be easy, however, because by this level of the game all the other characters don't trust each other and co-operation is difficult within the game rules.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on QUESTION: Capitalism, the Game? at Global Guerrillas
I suppose it's redundant to add at this point... but Yep... you nailed it good with this one. The social contract is cracked to pieces and the oligarchy is desperately trying to patch Humpty-Dumpty back together. It's been a mystery to me for years how it's held together this long. The only thing that makes sense to me is moral cowardice, intellectual laziness... And the sad, forlorn hope of so many to believe that their myths couldn't possibly be wrong. http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on RAGE AND HEALTH CARE at Global Guerrillas
The current centralized system of money creation is broken and subject to inherent problems of self-dealing. However it's not going away tomorrow so a way to build new distributed networks for localized and/or specialized credit creation mechanisms dedicated to fostering internal markets and resource utilization (Asset-based Community Development)which can operate alongside traditional currencies is a must. It's already built actually... The Individually-controlled / Commons-dedicated Account An innocuous structure enabling you to give to both charities and causes through the same account... But the network thereby created has potentials along multiple dimensions... from lobbying to currency creation for new resilient communities. On Social Energy, Enterprise & Expanding the Technology of Money http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-social-energy-enterprise-expanding.html Credit Creation and Building Sustainable Economic Ecologies http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/02/credit-creation-and-building-of.html The Individually-controlled / Commons-dedicated Account http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/01/individually-controlledcommons.html
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2010 on JOURNAL: Rodrik's Trilemma at Global Guerrillas
Re DataHead comment: "From a tribe point-of-view why do I need a Nation-State? I don’t. What a tribe eventually needs is some construct that fosters commerce amoung tribes. Something to provide consistant rules. Something to provide common defense from “outside” attacks. Something that can negociate on our (all the tribes) behalf with “outside” entities." I'm just a starving cultural anthropologist but I hope you'll consider the entrepreneurial work I've been doing in this area: The Individually-controlled/Commons-dedicated Account utilizing established and/or newly created currencies as an essential component for association and action in a global commons! This enables the unrecognized potential of an unburdened micro-transaction and collaterally (and almost accidentally) creates a de-centralized neutral bank for action in the Commons. It's a fundamental requirement for maintenance of a meaningful social contract in a global social organism! Details and background via the blog http://CulturalEngineer.blogspot.com and basic demo http://www.Chagora.com As a theoretician and non-academia-connected academic, technical and biz advice and suggestions are appreciated(Back in the late 60's I refused the 2S deferment as elitist and then refused draft induction so have been a bit of an outsider ever since.) LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/culturalengineer
Re my previous comment... (my html wasn't ok) The links: "How would hunter-gatherer run the world? (pssst... They do!)" at http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-would-hunter-gatherers-run-world.html as well as related posts and the Fixing Big! PowerPoint Demo & FAQ at http://www.Chagora.com
From the Information Commons site: "Information should flow like water." This is true and fundamental... Information is a core requirement for individual and/or collective decision. But there's an associated concept involving another core requirement: money (or some similar exchange medium) for the advancement or implementation of decision. While it may seem insignificant, I believe a practical micro-transaction for the individual is central to the sort of distributed capability here envisioned. While I'm a political theorist/anthropologist I've tried to take a practical approach to how this might be done: The Practical: A financially unburdened Individually-controlled/Commons-dedicated Account structure facilitating the microtransaction which (I believe) has real potential in opening up the lobbying situation. Demo & faq: Chagora The Theoretical: The relationship of altruism's vague but real boundaries to "natural human community size" (Dunbar's Number) and various forms of proximity, etc... and the issues that creates in scaling civilization while maintaining a healthy social contract. For more on this see How would hunter-gatherers run the world? (psst... They do!) and related posts on my blog Chagora & Civilization Systems ICT is already catalyzing a rejection of authoritarianism concurrent with an awareness that it's associated hierarchies are increasingly vulnerable to disruption... ICT has this healthy disruptive force but needs a next step. The explosion of communication and association that ICT brings must be accompanied by attention to healthy forms of influence capability. A culture's internal history and conditions will shape its evolution in relation to this but the trend is universal. I haven't expanded on it yet but I paradoxically also believe it will lead to better decisions, better leaders, a higher level of debate and lower expenditures. It's designed to provide a landscape for a deeper sense and reality of citizen involvement... (and don't underestimate the importance of the 'sense' part... that belief that our own voices have some capability of being heard is critical to feeling oneself a part of society and the acceptance of those inevitable decisions with which we don't agree!) The Power of Small Money, Large Numbers and Immediate Feedback! The cultivation of a citizen takes much more attention than the cultivation of a consumer (which gets a lot more attention... and is perhaps a bit TOO successful for our longterm well-being). And the goals may not be aligned at all! I believe in private enterprise but I also believe this particular area needs to be part of the commons... which in the final analysis is in the best interest of private entities as well.
Good rebuttal to the FT piece. It's important to remember that, as I understand it, ALL complex/chaotic systems are mathematically destined for inevitable failure. This fate is a theoretical one however and can (also theoretically) be postponed to a point beyond the expected life of the universe which is certainly a useful bit of information. It's recognized in biology that living systems are inherently complex/chaotic. This also applies to economies and civilizations. More importantly it's also recognized that 'health' in such systems requires maintaining a state of delicate balance between order and chaos called "criticality"... Too much order and the organism can't innovate to respond to new challenges... too much chaos and no co-ordinated response is possible. We live on an eternal tightrope requiring eternal vigilance! Creating the Next Iteration... Chagora & Civilization Systems
Causes, facebook, MySpace, et al suffer from the same afflictions regarding fundraising: the difficulty of the process, cost of transaction and lack of meaningful connection for the giver to any result. The basis of solution I believe is the Individually-controlled / Commons-Dedicated Account for both charity AND political contribution along with improved systems for geographically-based online association via secure mechanisms of identification similar to those used on dating sites. The resulting distributed network should be publicly owned. I'm enjoying your posts and hope you'll take a quick look at my blog where the theoretical underpinnings are beginning to be laid out at Chagora & Civilization Systems The PowerPoint "Fixing Big" (you'll see an embed at blog) touches briefly on how this applies. Demo is Chagora if interested in trying a barebones demonstration.
I'm not a "brand" guy and obviously many here have a lot of expertise. But I'm sure finding it interesting. It sounds like these guys were surprised by their own success: the sale of a lot more shoes than they expected. But they missed that while the sale of a lot of shoes is certainly a nice thing... The BIG success was occupying a piece of "mythological space" in the minds of a good number of people who associated the "folks" at Croc as being part of their "tribe" so to speak. But they had a dilemma. They must have realized that knockoffs would be on their heels (pun intended) at a much lower price (mine were $6!)... I agree with your points regarding building a brand... Is it possible they got advice from investment bankers connected to the IPO (who foresaw this looming knockoff issue) and were seeking to maximize short-term return by issuing stock at the peak with little real concern for the potential viability of the brand for the long term? I'm not saying the founders knew this... but I'll bet the bankers saw it coming. Chagora & Civilization Systems
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2009 on How Crocs Crashed at Ries' Pieces