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"I spent the $100 and upgraded. I deserve it after the past few weeks." Stowe, I really think you deserve another upgrade. Your conclusion is truly sad, dismal enough to be academically respectable. I've been followed this thread with the diligence due - about 20 hours reading, watching and researching so far and up to this post, it's been very good value for money, thank you. Given all you've covered/uncovered here I agree with you entirely. "Alt" money hasn't a chance / displacement of current fiat just isn't an option / money as we know it is here for the duration, and we should accept it. I know I do, whenever I can. I also think the current localism trend sentimental and utterly unrealistic, mostly driven by simplistic theories, politics and fashion. It's all just cargo culting at this point. And while some reputation currencies may catch hold somewhere, and may make money in some games and spaces, they aren't going to buy beer or bread any time soon where I am. And it will be longer still before whuffies address any significant social issues. Case closed, on the evidence examined. But you haven't covered it all, at all - you've missed much that matters. You've seen why a lot of things that don't work and clearly aren't ever going to. But not noticed things that have worked, are working, and will work progressively better - and most importantly noticed what it is that drives these. It matters of course what we're looking for. All your analysis seems (to me) to be looking for moneys to be things of value in themselves, and that value to be independent of the users. That is the conventional model, of course, and it comes with its limits. On that side of the bridge, I agree entirely with your analysis and your dismissal of "complementary" currencies, "alt" money etc. I think you're entirely right, in that particular context. Nonetheless, your (declared) wild guess that "money and the way it works is going to be a constant, not a variable" is only true on the conventional side of the bridge. Elsewhere, there is much more variety. Those writers of fiction and fantasy - Stephenson, Sterling and Cascio - who don't imagine this in their world(s) or this are really missing the point. However, given incommensurable idea sets, and how futile it is to try to argue across such gaps, why not instead briefly cross the bridge and take a walk on the really wild side? Then we can see how that context might further inform your views? Please do try our $100 open money upgrade (to you, there's no charge - you've already paid). It comes in three questions, two for the head, one for the heart (for clarity, answers are included): 1) where does your money go when you spend it? (answer - it goes away, and it doesn't come back) 2) would you like to have money that does come back? (answer - if it buys stuff, why ever not?) 3) if you could, in your community, with $100: a) give it to a community project you value ---- invest b) get cw$100 redeemable at supporting community businesses --- spend c) empower thereby a persistent cw$100 circulation in your community --- sustain ... would you? (answer - mind your own business, that's my choice) In my community - - we can, and increasingly we are so doing. We are still in our first few months of this opening $1m phase of this program, but cw$100k has now been created by the businesses in donations they have directed to community projects and causes; now, as we invest our can$ in those projects, we get cw$ 1:1, which we can spend and thus keep this community wheel spinning. Invest, spend, sustain - these three, but the greatest of these ... is really a matter of your perspective. In August, while we were getting our local show on our local road, we talked with you for an hour or so about this, and planned to talk on record in the future on this future of money. I'm sorry has shut off the flow - a common problem with money - but maybe it's worth doing it anyway to see how it goes? As a meme mover, the short q&a may be enough in itself for some, but additional commentary is likely to add value well worth the price of admission - mainly a matter of time and a measure of attention.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2009 on The Future Of Money: Conclusions at /Message
1 reply
Good points Dave - three main points of response. First, let's puuleeeeze drop the "alternative" word in this context, now and perhaps forever more. Certainly, nobody of repute in this field ever seeks to imply it's one versus the other. One can say "additional" or "parallel" or "user" or "community" and there is useful meaning. For a slightly similar struggle for clarity, see Lessig's recent rant on Kevin Kelly and his use of the "socialism" word. Secondly, I hope you won't waste your time in Toronto (it's such an exciting place to visit) The Toronto$ is just as irrelevant as the "transition town" Totnes and Lewes £, and the Berk$ in the US, none of which make any difference to anything that matters. To substitute a piece of local paper for legal tender, which you keep in reserve to underwrite the local, so that retailers can convert their local receipts back into legal, is merely a temporary diversion. One of my correspondents terms this "eddy currency" - meaning it goes round on the side of the main channel but does nothing else. Myself, I think it's more like the froth on the surface - superficial and insignificant. But regrettably deceptive, nonetheless, and seemingly most so for ardent protagonists, where noise seems to obscure the lack of signal. Thirdly, on banks joining the game - we've been making the case for that since 1982, probably to more than 100 FI in one way or another, all around the world. It's as close as you'll get to a no-brainer, but any institution can quite effortlessly be orders of magnitude more stupid than those who compose it, and banks are confirmed leaders in their conventional wisdom. You yourself will no doubt recall one close encounter of the usual kind with a London retail bank in 2002, who were offered a "how-can-you-lose?" variant of the Irish answer to economic downturn. Your recent post in response to mine - - carries the essence of the idea, that local business can underwrite an effective local money by monetising their slack, the idle capacity they face in consequence of the current credit crisis. What's difficult about this idea? Unfortunately, that trip to the bank, as before and since, yielded only the usual example of horse & water syndrome. And another thing. The opportunity for community currencies isn't based on whether people are "right or wrong in economic or political terms" which are merely rationalizations and justifications, and irrelevant in the circumstances. The key factor is that slack exists, and slack can be monetised, productively and profitably, and for that reason alone will be progressively monetised as that is realised, irrespective of political or economic theories. It does matter, of course, how such money is designed and implemented, but the opportunity is surely beyond doubt, even when badly addressed - as it is in Toronto$, Berkshares and similar. I don't (yet) know what it takes to get a bank to think outside its box, but I am sure that early adopters will prosper and late will not, so perhaps for the banks the main mover in the end will be the stick rather than the carrot.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2009 on Camp community at Digital Money
in Cyworld, the money is acorns
Toggle Commented May 6, 2009 on Spanish practice at Digital Money