Written by Frederick Malouf
“Money is a social design that then designs the social. Therefore if we work in currency innovation, we need to think about what kinds of behaviours we want to support and then design mechanisms for that into the currency system.”
This says it all. What defines the qualities of human nature? Are we lazy people interested in owning the creativity of others to survive? Is this a figment of the system we are in, or are we naturally creative, generous beings stuck in a system where we can’t express this?
I hope you read everything. I swear it will all make sense.
THE ISSUE …
… which is so seldom touched on, is the fact that gifting can leverage status in a unique way; rather than basing exchange on various methods deriving from the premise that we do not want to work. We do, but we’re not able to do the things we want, which is a big limitation on quantified measures of exchange.
Further, if we are valued for what we create, we will make as much as necessary, no more or less, so the idea of scarcity is again a figment of quantified measures of currency. Time and resources are scarce, but what we can create is limitless, especially if we focus on sustainability as a fundamental foundation of status. Money in quantified forms encourages hoarding. Demurrage is useful only in growing economies, not sustainable ones, as the needs to build something slows down to only building innovations that last longer, and use less resources and time, leaving more time to experience, which is a choice, not a requisite for a money supply.
I find that we are concentrating solely on some belief that we need a quantified unit of measure to get anything done. Do we? I don’t think so. A status measure? Sure. Money? No.
The most difficult thing no quantified measure of exchange will give you is education to discover what you are best at creating. This, as mentioned, is what the problem is with measuring people’s capacity with time. I’ve worked on a model where education is peer focused, and so status for educating is shown on a time clock, but there is no point to exchange it. Further, time doesn’t measure how good the education is. Only reviews will do that, so time becomes redundant.
Lastly, money and sustainability do not go together. It is either one or the other. Perhaps a free, fixed volume currency can work, but it opens the opportunity to corrupt the system, becoming our weakest link of trade. Money disconnects our association from people, not respect it. I believe every civilization before us has failed because of the political dogma and monetary foundation owning creativity, not leveraging it.
It has taken a long time to get here on such a global scale. Doing it again will be easier the next time if we still value quantity over quality.
Any currency has to be human-centric, based on offering status by creating in the most sustainable way possible.
I am going to comment on a few things in this article, and then come up with my argument for why a gifting economy is feasible, scalable, and, I believe, inevitable.
In essence, what was created was simply the increase in volume of money available to people, which allowed them to buy more things, which means less waste. So, despite the technical details of the currency itself, in the context of how it was delivered I do not see much difference than a bank increasing the money supply. The significant difference is it can’t be taken away by anyone, and yes, it can stabilize pricing, but then how do people compare their respective creations? They have based it on the shilling, which doesn’t change much, or provide the development of a different price mechanism to take hold if there was no more money created. This eventually leads to …
BITCOIN AND OTHER CrCs
As centralised as it becomes because of the higher work needed to validate transactions, there is no incentive to jump ship, because taking money out of the system limits exchange, and the engine that runs validating transactions becomes virtually maintenance-free. Even the energy to run it can be on solar or whatever which makes it free to run the server.
So, let’s say the world begins using one currency (BTC) that costs as much as the person who owns and runs the best server to live how they want. Let’s say that’s me. What on earth would be my gain if I take money out of the system and have you struggling for prices, especially since there is a limit, and I have a hoard of BTC to spend? I am going to look pretty stupid, and be ostracised, because even if prices fall for your survival, there is no need for you to have me as a customer. You would take advantage of the currency and just deal with it, and realise that your value is more on creating something that people want, not the price for it.
It could be legislated that you have to use BTC, but how is that going to work if you all jump ship and use a more democratic currency, or forget currency altogether and start looking at your sustainable quality as a value in itself, not the price for it? What a total waste of energy; it’s better to incentivise you to stay in BTC so I can get what I want at the natural prices things will become by the natural volume limit of the currency.
In other words, if we didn’t have idiotic governments increasing and decreasing the money supply, we’d all be pretty stable exchanging at certain prices, and just keep creating quality, irrespective of price. Right? Because that’s your nature. You want to be known for being a good person that gives the best to people. What has money got to do with that? This argument for BTC is the same for any crypto, as, even if they are like Stellar or Ripple that increase volume available by 1% a year, it just forestalls the obvious: that the price on your quality is limiting, and does not diversify cultures, the latter being natural evolution.
MULTIPLE COMPLEMENTARY/ALTERNATE CURRENCIES (CoCs/ACs) AND WHY THEY HAVE NOT TAKEN HOLD
Paul Grigon’s voucher based on abundant creation is really interesting. The value is solely based on your energy creating something. You do nothing, you have no vouchers, and vice versa. It could even be a measure of status of how many vouchers you have in circulation that shows your value. I do not think that will work; how do you measure the voucher of someone making a plane to the other making bread? We can say that the plane would be made with a different currency model, but like the vouchers can become complicated in themselves to measure against each other, using project focused currencies just wastes energy quantifying energy. SO, why, with so many models out there, have we not taken hold to evolve our current debt model?
Firstly, we are making people stupid so they think debt money is the only option. We also have employed more enforcing administration, like police and government processing departments, who think they are doing something for their community, and getting off on it in the process, e.g. “Man, this job makes me feel so important, because I can do to others what my parents used to do for me, and/or they can be proud of me.” Etc. Very simplified, but just look at how inhuman these people are becoming, and why they have the job … because they trust government to feed them, while keeping them stupid.
See, our native instinct is to trust, not fear. But I think the biggest destroyer of CoCs/ACs is ego. We have a personal interest to gain status through the creation of and exchange model that we can be known for, and think this is a currency for validation. How many books are written by so many people that offer change, but change so little? Yet you have to buy the book! At what price? This is so funny. We keep going through loops for change, not of change. How long have we been doing that?
In the meantime, we accept using a currency that chokes us, because authorities say so. We then buy the book to help us alleviate our pain, and so it goes. We stay perpetually disconnected, hoping for an icon to save us, forgetting we are our own icons, and want others to be the same. That is far more connected than it sounds because we are not the same icons.
So, I propose gifting. I can’t own it, can’t tell people what to make, can’t tell them to believe in me, but I can tell them to believe in themselves, and that no one own’s this except them. This can make me the most humble person on earth, or the most conceited egocentric person you could ever meet. I’d go with the latter, but I want you to be the same, because only then I can have a friend I can create with. The argument to make quantitative currencies is based on a maligned concept of what human nature is. If we understand that human nature is a status animal wanting to survive, and that we want to trust and learn from each other, what would be the best measure of exchange that facilitates this in the most sustainable way possible…?
ZEITGEIST AND UBUNTU
The arguments for either are compelling, but I think the results are not human-nature focussed. Zeitgeist thinks that 5% of the human race will spend time doing what the 95% want, giving nothing, living in processed homes doing the same thing. That’s not human, local, or culture centric. We will become transparent fluff balls. Current money hides this very well, it supports being fluff balls that can’t do anything, so they feel content staying this way. Zeitgeist brings this out in the open, taking away any differentiation for status if we are not creators, so it will breed some bad things.
Outside of the mystical aspects of Tellinger’s argument, he focuses at least 3-hours a day for the community, and at least 3-hours a week on his own creations. The structure Tellinger proposes sounds like Google. Creators/innovators are obsessed with creations, so the time will never hold fast, while working for the community may lead to things you have no interest in. Better to leave that stuff to people that do, no? What people create in their own time will be, more often than not, of value to the community anyway, so why make the distinction? Further, it still establishes political rule, limiting diversified creativity. Any exchange model must promote owning your creativity, at all times. Anything else is a power-trip.
THE GIFTING MECHANISM IN A FREE ECONOMY AND HOW TO GET THERE
I am not advocating to gift in good faith alone. You are in communities that value creation and seed themselves in knowledge, and no matter what capacity you give, that is not just of value to the community, but it has value to you to want to create and give it, that it is your best. I am not presenting this in a woo-woo way, because that doesn’t interest me. My analysis is purely based on logic. I am happy to leave the spirituality to others; better yet, yourself, because how to live for joy, not fear, is why I am doing this.
There is no governing body telling you what is most necessary to create. It is dependent on your locality and your needs. Of course, different communities will be better at creating different things, but they will be known for how sustainably they can do that, so why compete to do it if they are better at it? And they are happy to give it, because you are giving your creations, too, to anyone that wants them, on demand. Highest quality, minimal resources, shortest time. People will gravitate to projects that achieve that best, in interests of their choice.
The best thing about gifting is it empowers EVERYONE to create. It takes away political control of developing countries, as they are now free to build what they want for themselves, and if it has value for us, they can give it. We can help them to get there, freely, especially since we have taken so much away from them.
GETTING THERE is a far simpler concept than money models will ever be. The objective of any business is to make profit by building a reputation for creating value. The current mechanism to do that is get money to create lowest quality at highest price, and being as unsustainable as possible. The larger you are, the better you can do that. Why are the banks, who create nothing, the largest industry, and government the second biggest? Incomprehensible.
I’ll call this community the FREE COMMUNITY (FC). This is as big and decentralised as one would want, as it is not just one community in one place, but many communities in different places.
I begin by approaching an industry with an offer for free labour, proposing to transform it into a sustainable powerhouse of production: producing only on demand, reducing costs of production, needing the banks less, empowering their reputation as sustainable quality creators, getting other things in the FC for free, and freeing their time to do things they could not normally do. In return, they will give their surplus to the FC.
As costs drop, and the need to produce reduces as it becomes more sustainable, the need for loans and the price to sustain paying them back also reduce. This evolution continues to the point where there are no costs of production that require money; everything produced is free solely for the FC, and everyone has had a great time creating, having learned something new and valuable. In the process, the plant need no longer be ‘owned’ by anyone except the people who are interested in producing what it makes.
The factory has its labour for free, but what about resources? No problem. In the same way, the resource suppliers are offered the same proposal, and so it goes down the line to the real resource creators: farmers and miners. Farmers will have all the labour they need to produce high yields using permaculture methods, supporting labour with what they need while they are there in the most respectful and sustainable way possible. Miners will mine resources that have the capacity to be used over and over as innovation improves. Many miners might even become waste collectors as innovations improve to use this waste in productive ways, if we have waste at all.
These cycles continue until everyone is using this time to the most effective way possible, as they see fit. Time spent producing decreases while time spent experiencing and creating increases. All people are supported in education and to experience more, there is a lot of down time to just be present.
As we spend so much time, talent, and energy with media selling useless crap to us, there are certainly innovative people that can present the idea to people, but then, unlike current models where you are forced to sell something that has no meaning for you, the seed is here to see how much meaning the FC can give you. You will gain so much more for yourself and others through the Free Community, more than money will ever give you.
This is not a legislated model, but designed on total free choice. If you are thinking of grading people to where they fit in this, you are missing the point. This is what money does. It is their choice, not yours. Encourage people to be, and they will give so much more back. Feeding them proper food so they can think as real people is a good start to do that.
You are also not dependent on money to build projects, but people. Offer advantages for people to get involved and they will come. You will get many more people than money will ever buy you. You get them for free, like everything else you are getting, and you give for free. Think of the ROI on that!
This also naturally builds status through sustainability, without compromise. All resources will flow to the most sustainable projects that give the best to most people. This creates and offers a wider range of choices, allowing for experimentation with new ideas, tastes, and experiences, all based on sustainable foundations. Is there anything this plan lacks? I do not believe so.
We also reuse the need for inequality, in all its forms, as a status driver. Is it really useful to you to own, or lend and return for a better model? Resources used for demarcating become resources for sharing. All the differences we perceive to make a difference in belonging fall away, becoming what we have in common that identifies communities. War? Racism? Land ownership? What for? What political mechanism could exist to warrant that, when gifting sustainable creation is the mechanism for enriching lives? It is impossible.
We always value creation, so why give it a price? We can say that money empowers, but what type of money? Does it need to be quantitative, or can it be qualitative, as simple as saying: “You’re the best!”. If you are the only person gifting, that’s to be taken advantage of, but if EVERYONE’S status is measured this way, it’s a disadvantage to not create anything, especially if education is free and people are supporting you with their specialties. Living life is not just about taking, because you need to be valued, and that is not going to happen in a gifting world if you do not create, and if there is no price mechanism, you know it is all about giving that, and being the best at it, if it interests you so much. So there is ample opportunity to learn what you like, make it the best, leverage others to make it better, and keep moving to new interests. That’s experiencing life.
I think we are really missing the point of why we are creating quantitative currencies. This is based on a perception of what human nature is like, especially since there are so many of us on earth. Even saying curbing population growth is a problem misses the point, because it was our social models that got us here. As people say, educated people breed the least, so maybe we should build educational institutions to regulate economies, not money models that focus on exchange, not what we are exchanging. Money is not a priority to exchange wealth. What you will to create is. Everything must serve this objective, there is no status doing anything else.
I think the biggest fear is what will happen if we are no longer fuelled by it to do anything. I believe our story really begins when we pass that point. It is not a stagnant tale, but evolving with new parameters, and resolving other problems as they come, not being lead by the fear of them. Going back full circle, we shape our societies by the monetary system we choose to believe in. I think every quantified system creates fear. Pass this point, and there will be no limits to what is possible, if you find meaning to do it.
Please excuse the brevity. I have been reading, listening, and watching so many things over the last few years to get to this point, I hope you do not mind my listing the people I have researched, as they are the sources of information. What they produce is the vehicle for that, and they have so much information online.
This MOOC and their creators Jem Bendell and Matthew Slater, with support from Leander
Margaret Jeffries and Deidre Kent
and many more …
Originally posted @ New Earth Oracle