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Hi there,

I would like to present the ideas in this article below for discussion with folks on this forum.

The article itself is something I put together over night but I have been sitting with the ideas for a couple years now.

I could be a lot more elaborate in my presentation of these ideas, but I thought I'd run it by other curiously minded folks, to have some critical feedback points, prior to putting significant energy into it...

With that said, please enjoy and comment as appropriate.

Original URL: http://evolvingtrends.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/p2p-social-currency-...

P2P Social Currency (Money 2.0)

October 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Premise:

One of the foundational elements of society is the definition of money.

Changing how money is defined will change society.

Dialog:

If we had a networked, programmable currency then I could tell my money to exchange itself only for goods/services that are made by vendors who care about the planet AND who have donated to my chosen candidate for President.

I can be as particular as I want and my money should do the figuring out of whom to pay itself to, based on rules I supply, and based on information it can access about the parties I’m trading with.

Another example for networked, programmable currency is to enforce rules on the spending of money that I give to my kids (luckily no kids yet) so they don’t buy food that contains unhealthy ingredients.

The new networked, programmable money should abandon the idea of paying interest on borrowed money. There is so much debt in the system that it would take decades to get rid of it and return the economy to normal functioning. The interest on debt is like bad cholesterol. While it fattens the economy, it ultimately clogs the global economic arteries and can lead to economic failure, as it has done (see: global economic meltdown 2008.)

In my opinion, the concept of “credit” and “credit rating” is good but the concept of interest is not. What I mean is that people and businesses should have a credit rating but it should be tied to something other than their ability to pay interest on money borrowed.

If you lend money to someone, where that someone is chosen per the particular criteria you’ve programmed into your money, you should be able to get your money back and get “good will” points that would replace today’s “hamster wheel” concept of credit rating, which was designed to encourage people to buy money with money, which is not only retarded but gives value to money from nowhere. Instead of being rated on your timeliness in paying back money borrowed + interest, you should be rated by how much you’ve lent others and how much time you’ve given people to pay you back, and this rating, e.g. your “good will” points, becomes your credit rating. This way people can dictate that their money is to be exchanged for goods/services only from providers with N “good will” points or more.

Maybe a good place to try this P2P Social Currency (or “Money 2.0″) would be in an online virtual world?

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a note regarding my tendency to apply my own definitions to certain words, such as " intention".

In the context of our last conversations , I tend to define " intention" not only as pursuing some "inspiration/set of inspirations/vision",

but also as "detached from specific expectations, in presence of contemplation at every moment, and opening up towards (co)creativity through potentially shared intentional space".

I tend to oppose a process of intentional consciousness to a process of conditional addiction

I decided to position " intentional / metatized consciousness " as a " + " direction in the following axiom

http://oikoumene.coforum.net/processdimensions

as it leads to greater opening of trust channels - also see 5 drawings , zipped file available on http://www.registeredcommons.org/view/167/0/8066

In other words, a intention consciousness can be lived at any moment , remembering the presence of a contemplation consciousness into every moment while adding to it our remembering of intention into every moment , towards making choices beyond a experienced situation in a state of consciousness of addiction - specific need of control - fear of loss of control and aggressiveness related to potential loss of control ,

and also beyond a state of contemplation alone, as intention is added into every moment into the choices we make, without expecting or needing to control.

It can be experienced and shared at every level of abstraction , in every moment of live, with every person.

Following my own experience, When the other person is in a state of conditionality , holding presence of contemplation and intention into every moment opens a mirror for the individual that is in conditionality to de-cristallize its addictions, even though this may often lead to such individual going through drama of the egos/addictions/crystallizations who try to maintain and expand themselves.

Every process object/dimension, at every layer of abstraction, can be experienced either through addiction or through intention - hence it is not always easy to differentiate them - although the difference is often in the result and from where they can take their energy: an addicted process is dependent on the energy of the process dimensions it can contain and parasite, while an intentional process can open up to receive its energy from broader dimensions - or at least, thats how I experience it in the way i feel energy according to my experience of state of consciousness, and empiric observation around me.

Hence I am interested in understanding how to include such understanding into our currency.

The current mainstream currencies, from my perspective, seem to be based on conditional debt - as debt allows for the creation of money ( and even more, as the currency system is an addicted system requiring to increase the amount of debt as to be able to cover for the interest on the debt )

I am looking forward to create what I would call " intentional trust information systems " - the best example probably being " gift economics ".

Hence it might be interesting to understand how to better visualize and measure various needs and connect them with various available resources, as to allow for a greater amount of opportunity making. Hospitality networks ( couchsurfing, hospitalityclub , bewelcome , ... ) already enable this through making it possible for people that are looking for a place to stay to connect with people that can potentially host them, opening up new opportunities through gift economics with existing resources.

Hospitality networks are information systems based on trust ( you can also add a comment to the profile of a person in the network that you met/hosted/that hosted you , and a level of trustwortyness to your comment )

I also look forward to the emergence of micro philantropy which allows for the pooling ( donations ) of resources according to potential future projects,

and perhaps even create a form of alternative complementary currency that facilitates such approach:

individuals with a profile on a social network database could create units of their own with their own programmed intention ( this joins what you said earlier , and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_economics#Technological_LTV_... )

as to support their project/intention.

Other individuals can accept these units if they want to support the intention and project of the individuals who issued them,
and every time the money goes through a transaction it keeps the memory of the transaction ,

so that others can once again decide to accept the currency in support of the transactions done before.

Individuals can apply filters to use and accept units only when they correspond to the criteria they defined ( such as: units have not been used in a number of defined situations that would have a destructive impact on health , ecological and social sustainability , ... )

///

To issue such intentional units, they could be backed by the guarantee of the social networks who wish to support them ( which is, if I remember properly, a potential characteristic embedded into the ripple software ??? ) ,

and/or could be backed by foundations, which could decide to use their conditional type of currencies ( euros, dollars, etc ) to guarantee alternative complementary intentional units, and would allow for the trade in of intentional units for conditional units , but only to purchase services or goods available through conditional information units , that would match with the in built intentions of the intentional units - so in some way, the intentional units do have the condition of being intentional - as is the case with for example "food checks", which allow to buy food for a certain amount of money.
We have to sit down together some day in the future for us to parse through all that has been shared.

As for me, at this time, I believe my formulation/awareness of the problem and solution is advanced enough for me to take a step back and then proceed forward with a series of cartoons/comics, with drama, to explain the struggles and concerns people have due to the way money is created and how its 1-dimensional value makes it easy to use in an unconscious way (a lot of people don't think enough when they use their money, and if money is designed with more than 1 dimension then they will think more about how they use it and they become more conscious and their use of the money becomes more conscious) and suggest in the same story/comic how that may change with the introduction of new multidimensional currency, as how I've defined it so far, open to further emergent modification through mostly emotional symbiosis with the characters of the drama/comic, who mirror everyday people.

Of course, I'd love to help with the newly created wikis you've pointed me to, so I retain our mostly intellectual/abstract symbiosis which I'm obviously benefiting from.

But the comic/story production is going to be my main pet project in this area ... as I have limited focus
Hi Marc

Cartoons sounds like a great approach in raising awareness in a didactic way!

Beyond integrating potential multi-dimensionality of ( alternative/complementary) currencies ,

It might also be of interest to question " ownership " of " money/currency units " themselves.

Is ownership needed ? Who owns money? Who owns the ( complementary ) financial systems ?

Can ( such complementary multi-dimensional ) financial system be used by anyone who shares intentions and without any one particular person or group having coercive control over it ( in a distributed way ? ).

Can money entirely become a matter of tracking information towards "choices and visions" that are "commonly shared" ,

without any other owner then the

" intention / vision / choices towards such vision / most optimal set of options towards such vision "
,

all users becoming " response-able" towards the intentional information systems " they decide " to support,

allowing, through reputation and tracking of their contributions,

for the system ( all distributed agents ) to itself understand that these individuals empower shared intentions,

hence are part of the path to develop visions and can be supported by the system by including their needs to further support the broader set of mutually empowering intentions.

Can we facilitate the emergence of a complex n dimensional holoptic distributed information system that increases the amount of opportunity making interactions/transactions/connections , beyond need for coercion, following shared intention?

Instead of the unit being a " I owe you " of the system towards one individual in a conditional financial system ,

can it be a unit representing a " We ( users ) decide to owe to this intention ",

in this way, the true value of the unit being only in a person " giving " to the unit ( and not " taking " through the unit ) , and hence , through this gift, becoming " response-able " towards the intentional unit,

with the value being created through the gift to the intention, and for the user, the reputation provided to him/her/the group through the memory/stamp of the unit having transited through into the information system,

further creating trust of the system towards him/her/the group.
I have to clarify the following:

The paragraph:

"Another example for networked, programmable currency is to enforce rules on the spending of money that I give to my kids (luckily no kids yet) so they don’t buy food that contains unhealthy ingredients."

Should be reworded as:

"Another example for networked, programmable currency is to enforce rules on the spending of a daily/weekly/monthly amount of my own money that I let my kids use (luckily no kids yet) so they don't buy food that contains unhealthy ingredients."

This is so there is no confusion regarding the fact that the rules/criteria do not transfer to another user, so the kids here would be using my money, not money that I transferred to them, as once I've transferred an amount of my money it to someone that person will have the ability to set new rules for all future transactions or per each transaction involving their money.
Hello,

I haven't had time to read the long discussions here but I've been interested in this stuff for a while :)

You can find links to some of my favourite resources here:
http://uniteddiversity.com/money/ and here:
http://delicious.com/uniteddiversity/money+100links

With more here:
http://delicious.com/uniteddiversity/money

Enjoy! :)
Great Josef! Thanks!
Thank you Joseph

I will invest time to summarize the discussion as a blog post, once the discussion itself goes past these expansive debate stages :)
Great! Look forward to reading the summary :)
Dante,

Back over a year ago, myself and a friend embarked on designing an opportunity maximizing agent driven economy

We went along the same path you're describing... we had a model where each person only had to declare things they have or things they need, and 'things' included everything from beliefs, money (1-dimensional or multidimensional value system), couches, love, attention, interest, skills, tasks, products, services, used stuff, energy, friends, and all other types of 'things' That was way before I ever heard of the "Internet of Things" movement ... It is only natural that we conceive of these ideas concurrently or within short time span of each other, as we're part of the creative whole (or universe), and, in Penrose' Objective Reduction terms but abstracted from particles to ideas, we're all aware of the waves of probability (for new ideas)

The problem and key issue I have with an automated agent-to-agent or thing-to-thing matching, e.g. things you have to things others need (and vice versa), is that you end up having too many similar choices in any one dimension (of the overall matching space) that, in most of the time, can only be ranked subjectively

So then if you have 10,000 choices for friends or tasks how do you pick and what is the meaning of having infinite choice? The more subjective choice making a person or algorithm has to make the less useless is the concept of choice

Again, I am diametrically opposed (and that's my problem) to anything that takes away choice and my paradoxical argument is that an over abundance of choices that's enabled by such schemes actually takes away choice.. makes it meaningless or random (because with too many similar choices produced by agent-to-agent automated matching of 'things', i.e. the supposedly opportunity maximizing matching, makes the choice making process a subjective one, i.e. non-computable, subjective, and when people are met with too many subjective choices they actually freeze.. granted an agent can pick one choice among 10,000 similar choices at random but then where is the personal choice of the user? removing personal choice from the level of the specific thing to the level of intention (e.g. I want a white dress shirt made of 100% cotton or I want nice formal wear or I want to look nice) has the effect of taking away the joy of personal choice making and replaces it with convenience and speed

Subjective choice making is a joy not a problem to be solved

I find it interesting that people are searching for a computational theory of beauty when beauty is fundamentally non-computable

It's important for each person to be able to decide what is beautiful and when you're presented with 10,000 beautiful white shirts (see my example above) then you are bound to lose your appreciation and joy for choice making, where choice making is critical to the health of the human psyche, and if you don't mind losing your joy for meaningful choice making, and you opt for maximum opportunity, you would also risk losing your appreciation for beauty as what you consider beautiful becomes a commodity and loses it's specialness as it increases in abundance

That is why I had suggested at the beginning that we examine our feelings about the problem before we go up in our head to solve the problem

I spent over a year down that path only to realize that the ultimate solution of opportunity maximization will take away a lot of what I enjoy about life...

:(

So I abandoned the idea of opportunity/choice maximization
Wow, very interesting Marc! Thanks for sharing your experience - it is very valuable to me.

Hmm, I brainstormed this- you could call it "building on context" - It might sound off topic at first - :

I realize that one of my first intentions is to converge with others with whom I can collaborate to further learn, discover, and create.

It is one of the reasons why I am here.

I have gone through a number of attempts, including lifestyle strategies ( such as a nomadic lifestyle in the last 5 years ) in attempting to continue a learning path with few or no owned resources , while connecting with others.

I have also come to conclusions that lead me to not pursue certain paths,
and these choices have lead me to end up to learn how to survive in a homeless, revenue less reality,
yet at the same time opening up opportunities for a flexible lifestyle where I can allocate my time in writing to this forum.

Nevertheless, my theme for the moment is convergence, local synergy creation , and ...synergies between local synergies at a european and global scale.

Isolated behind this computer I dont get very far.
Yet for the moment even to access the internet is a struggle ( depending on who hosts me, or on open wifi and electricity plug availability )

I look forward to find strategies to further converge, connect and converge individuals locally,
as to increase the number of opportunities, colearning, cocreation, and mutual support for survival,

which is one of the reasons why, since my return to Brussels, I try to have access to certain media tools and find partners.

But it may well be anywhere else in the world.

My choice of Brussels , other then being my native town and offering me access to use the three languages I speak, comes because it is very centrally located in one of the most densily populated and structurally developed/richest areas in europe and the world.

I hope to more easily have access to infrastructure and to individuals with post-materialist values that have access to sufficient resources to survive while investing themselves in shared interests.

On the other hand, on a psychological/energetical/meaning point of view, living in eastern europe brought me more opportunities for shared human warmth with individuals that understand notions of mutual support.

I look forward to combine both paradigms of human warmth in shared intention, beyond coercive collectivism, beyond addicted individualism, in intentional collaborative individualism,
not only in communities, but in networks:

" autonomous local intentional networks " ( which can also include intentional communities, but without staying limited ot intentional communities ) ,

and more precisely, european and global networks of "autonomous local intentional networks ".

This approach also explains my interest in interacting with you and others through the p2pfoundation ecology.

///

It may sound displaced to mention it into this thread, yet as to further build towards p2psocial currency, I believe it is important to position each other and understand how we can contribute and build on our contexts.

Our lives seem to be in themselves a "synthesis" of feedback loops with ourselves and society,
and perhaps it is possible to build further on the synthesis of our experience and current situations.

////

To come back to the subject,
yes, it seems important that the trust information system we would like to experiment with can take into account the position of each individual in hes/her learning process.
( moving on from priorities such as "specific control for survival" , or "increase of potential coercive control" for increased potential for survival in competition ( paradigm of coercive power ) ; on to a paradigm based on inspiration and intention as priorities, with an understanding of life as a "learning platform" - leading to priorities such as (experiential) co-learning , collaboration, cocreation , ... - and redefining "needs" from a different perspective then "wants" , as the individual learning combines itself directly to the holistic learning process )

I thought that by converging and cocreating with others that already have a certain awareness and understanding it would be possible to manifest the presence of such awareness into systems outside of our bodies,

as to enable others to use them even if they did not go through the experiences and processes that would have lead them otherwise through such "consciousness".

In other words, the consciousness of the medium used would directly affect the users,
and eventually reduce the amount of energy invested needed to reach an understanding towards manifesting and living such consciousness.
( "the medium is the message" ? - quoting McLuhan )

------------

For the moment, we can share through the internet, perhaps collaborate in experimenting around understanding various approaches to "creating mirrors" - cartoons, video interviews , ... -

What lifestyle do we choose for? Where do we decide to live? One place? In between several places?
With whom, where, with what resources, ...
Just to clarify, I've left the good easy life too, for a personal reason, and I am currently more conscious because of it.

It's not as extreme and nomadic as yours. It's freeing. No amount of money/resources ever gave me this much freedom to unravel and learn about my "me" as Pesinger put it

If I had a different history my present would have been different, maybe even nomadic at this stage.

My philosophy is that you can't eliminate the harshness of reality, whether you're inside the 'system' or outside of it; you just have to be resilient to it, as well as tolerant of it.

The way I can contribute to a cooperative support system is to articulate such notions of wisdom (or philosophies), and help others both emotionally and mentally to build on these notions of wisdom as well as being helped by others of equal consciousness to build on their notions of wisdom, such that we may move together from being slaves to the system, where survival is guaranteed as long as you serve the system, to being outside the system, where discovery is guaranteed as long as you seek to disrupt the system, and then to a state where we spend as much time inside the problem (the system) as we do outside of it, which is essential if we are going to solve it.

Does that make sense?

:)
Sounds like a good explicit positioning of ourselves.

----

The following brainstorming could be called " assembling rhizomatic/distributed awareness modules,
by converging rhizomatic individuals. - What is our (convergence) strategy ? "

- as I brainstorm, I may repeat a number of things - it might be interesting at some point to map the repeated points, and their relations wit hthe other points -

----

... and to survive, if we want to avoid serving a conditional system,
we can manifest the presence of consciousness at first by not serving it,
and then through the creation of modules which transfer from within themselves and to any of its users the consciousness/architecture of shared intentionality:

modules with rhizomatic / distributed / non linear / transparent / ... characteristics,
which mutually support each other into creating viable alternative complementary systems to which anyone can contribute but that can only work through the power of inspiration,

as no one can coerce through the use of the system of rhizomatic awareness modules.

So the question I ask myself at this point is one of strategy. What do we invest our time in,
where, with whom, and how.


There are different " modules " I become aware of that can be further developed, and then further interconnected.

Few people have an awareness of the impact of such modules, and on how these modules can mutually empower each other into viable alternative complementary systems.

Alternative ways of measuring our resources , processes, and involvement in such processes ,
alternative ways of converging resources around intentions , alternative ways of organizing ourselves
( all of these which in some way are included in the topic of this thread ) ,

lead up to alternative information systems.

We can also question solutions ( and a number of people relating themselves to p2pfoundation ecology already do ) regarding access to such information systems - distributed communication networks ( ad hoc multi hop ? ) , data bases , softwares ( developed in a distributed way and allowing for distributed use ) ,

question the energy needed to run them ( distributed local autonomous energy production ) ,etc

Also important , the way we learn and interact with each other ( distributed non linear experiential learning , ... / rhizomatic learning ? )... and the potential to build on collaborative media... to mutually build up tools, documents, questions, ... - questions and projects also addressed through a number of individuals relating themselves to p2pfoundation ecology )

it is all interconnected, like a big rhizome - and I feel that to empower one is to potentially empower all the other distributed modules...


Yet indeed, people are central , and awareness is central,
as to be able to collaborate towards the development of all such kind of interconnected distributed modules,
and although every development in distributed prototypes that are being developed all around the world can be used as convergence points ( such as this one we are using now ) to connect with other individuals sharing a common awareness, and with whom synergies and then synergies between synergies / emergence become easier,

many of us are still dependent on current ( often hierarchical and conditional ) infrastructures.

There are meetings and gatherings of people sharing certain interests at a international level, some kind of Temporary (Sometimes Autonomous?) Zones in the shape of seminars and camps,

and I met some good friends at some of these,
hoping to build up from such encounters.

Yet after a few years I feel how important it is to be able to converge networks locally, while going on using and feeding the global networks of friends and contacts,

and/or, most importantly, to be able to collaborate with individuals that already allowed for the rhizome to profoundly modify their lifestyles,

leading to more distributed and less specifically conditional lifestyles.

Somehow, I for example ended up hitch hiking, which in itself is a distributed approach to moving,
for which the user can not have coercive/conditional control, but can make choices , and move further when there is shared intention/trust from a driver ( this can be compared to distributed communication channels - ad-hoc multi hop , where any participant in the network can also be a relay to the information of others )

and hitch hiking without ( or with very little ) money lead me to not being able to impose conditions/coercion through the use of money in my lifestyle,

becoming more and more aware of our mutual dependency at every moment ( although many people are in the illusion of "independence" through the use of conditional currency transactions )

using hospitality ( also distributed - no specific addiction/dependency on one host ) to have shelter,

open up trust, and meta-trust ( faith - see : http://oikoumene.coforum.net/consciousnessprocessdimensions )

and all these also letting the rhizomatic characteristics/consciousness
( although the rhizome is always present to every person at every moment, the conscious detached - beyond addiction- navigation of it is not always there )

to further spread, including into relationships:

it becomes more and more difficult to have "addicted relations" , when living a non-linear rhizomatic lifestyle,

and when becoming ourselves a mirror to / reflecting addiction and conditionality
because of our ( structural ) non obedience to its expectations.

The last aspect ( relationships ) is a very intense learning process in detachment for me,
and especially in the process of being a mirror for the detachment of others with which we have a relation with/allowing for the other to learn to detach, even if this means to surrender to shared presence.

I somehow feel that the potential of the potential of the rhizomatic consicousness, the "metatization" , the opening up of trust , and meta-trust ( faith ),

the opening up of the potential of potential through us,

of the flow of "can" through us,

elements and realities which can maximize their potential of potential through a shift of consicousness from addicted/crystallized structures towards de-crystallized/deconstructed use of their objects as to enable maximization of relation making through trust, following shared intention.

----

Ok, hope this does not get too long :-p

...

so if this is the strategy, if the strategy is " a principle ",
the same principle as others used before us ( hmm, Ghandi? ),
how do we become vectors for the spread of its consciousness, of " can " ?

In what parts of our lifestyle are these characteristics already present?
And with what other rhizomatic consciousness architectures can they further facilitate emergence?

And where does coercion create artificial scarcity containing its spread?

How can we choose to use the forces of coercion ( fear, specific need for control,... )
to reverse the flow, the principle, ...

---

I feel we can build on the different layers of abstraction, and where we need the less energy to reverse the flow is through the power of inspiration.

Inspiration seems to be able to be best communicated through "example",

and example can come through an individual initiative,

or a collaboration of individual initiatives into modules, and modules connected between each other.

-----

If we are in a low budget mode, distributed collaborative media solutions and new practices,
connecting to all other distributed modules,

may well be one path, and is one I currently try to invest myself in to increase the amount of synergies possible and the access to resources.

It is also a strategy some others of us are using,
although each with our own touch.

I am currently interested in understanding what is in my current circle of influence,
realizing distributed practices using media , particularly video, to build up local networks by converging views around chosen thematics, and allow them to become accessible and emergent,can be a starting point,

which can eventually lead to build networks that can allow for building some form of convergence of resources in the form of some " insurance " ( using fear shifted through intention )
to finance more autonomous local complementary infrastructures that correspond more with rhizomatic characteristics and consciousness.

------

I ll get there - yet at this moment I m interested in connecting further with others with which we can converge all these various modules.

----

We then come back to the two paths, which actually are only one:

we can converge people that already are open to such characteristics, and build with them modules with such characteristics,

or we can use our own presence of consciousness to be mirrors to wake up others out of conditionality, fear, need for specific control,

and into a paradigm of inspiration , mutual empowerment and cocreation - learning.

----

I feel that the second one is one we already do simply by meeting people everyday,
and the first one can have a greater impact as the modules developed then themselves serve as mirrors.

As, from my perspective, all are interconnected , as long as we follow the principle it all supports each other, when it can connect with each other.


When they will be able to further support each other , they will be able to process much greater complexity, through less waste, and more creative and initiative potential.

So one of the priorities may be to interconnect them to facilitate its emergence through mutual empowerment.

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