Now that is a feedback loop.

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Further Reading. The concept is fairly malleable as evidenced:

The above idea seems more like a token than a kind of money to me but I guess the boundaries of the concepts overlap a fair amount.

I’m just going to leave a bunch of ideas here as a white-space and come back to them later.

So, community projects reduce [entropy][1] by nature of creating (even anarchistic) ordered results.
Corollary with the computation of crypto?
Increasing order through the completion of processing; perhaps some kind of direct, specific link between the value attributed to the community project, derived from the complexity of organisation and effective footprint or ‘community-market’ reach and the underlying processing work done that represents the coins minted in association.

This reminds me of Susan Blackmores book about memes and memplexes, something to re-read.

Her conception of memplexes is especially interesting. Cultural genetic units gathered together in homestatic communities of cultural information. Could boingcoin somehow compute the cultural value of a complex community interaction?

Anyway, like I said. Whitespace, just reading through the interwebs for now.

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Speaking of cups, you might enjoy this article about a guy who started out writing a script to keep the coffee-run list in order and ended up creating an in-office bank.


In economics, a market economy is sometimes said to be self-organizing. Paul Krugman has written on the role that market self-organization plays in the business cycle in his book “The Self Organizing Economy”.[38] Friedrich Hayek coined the term catallaxy[39]
to describe a “self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation”, in regards to the spontaneous order of the free market economy. Neo-classical economists hold that imposing central planning usually makes the self-organized economic system less efficient. On the other end of the spectrum, economists consider that market failures are so significant that self-organization produces bad results and that the state should direct production and pricing. Most economists adopt an intermediate position and recommend a mixture of market economy and command economy characteristics sometimes called a mixed economy). When applied to economics, the concept of self-organization can quickly become ideologically imbued.[11][40]

So I guess I’m suggesting a form of catalaxy, where the value is contained in the goals of the individuals combining to form community goals.

A cat - a - laxy.

Internet and reality conspire to weird me out.
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I don’t know… I’m not sure it is. It still feels to me like we’re commoditizing our interactions, we’re just doing it through a mechanism that isn’t related to the state.

I guess for me, it comes down to whether or not we can co-opt the specific structures of the modern, capitalist state for our own ends? I’m not fully convinced that we can. I might be wrong, but I remain skeptical at this point.

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May be you are right, I’m still reading through the literature. Which, promisingly, does exist.

I feel like a way of defining value as collected by individuals who have worked on disparate other community projects, who can then ‘donate’ the value they have obtained, pooling it into a new (community approved?) project to ‘pay’ the people who come together to work on it.

Others could donate to projects they themselves support but don’t have time to work on.

Real value would be exchanged but the focus would be on the project results (and perhaps the computation of work done in that context [see links in comment above]) instead of a final product (unless that was the goal of the project). The value would be derived from the self-assembling characteristics of the project which emerge in relation to the economic environment of the project. (As I currently understand the theory (which is not very well)).

How do you plan to stop people doing lots of highly visible but low priority activities getting more boingcoin than someone who spends a lot of time behind the scenes focusing on one highly important task? Also how do you encourage people to focus on activities that are less important to them?

Also, considering where you are getting the idea for this from, I think that most anarchist collectives will be unwilling to get involved.


Good questions.

Please explain. I’m looking specifically at methods for computing the value of self-assembling, emergent, organisational structures with no centralised control and work defined as being a function of the result of an internally defined project-goal.

I don’t know if I’m right or not, I just think that caution is a good thing.

I think my concern is that value is still being defined by the capitalist system. Which is fine. This might be a path towards making the system more human centered, which I think we all agree is a good thing. The question is whether or not it is a “poison well”, if that makes sense. Does it always lead down the same thorn filled path or if you can make the system into a more humane one.

Does that make any sense?

Of course, you’re just talking small scale here, but you also mention real world projects, too.

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Testing or prototypes could be for virtual game economies or projects within a game we host on boingboing.

The majority of examples on the net are of virtual economies anyway

This could delimit the impact on the ‘real world’.

Sure, but things will have to eventually go over into the real world for them to have value. These economies might be virtual, but value, I think has to have some portability into the real world, no?

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I beleive the links to the Hedonic methodology are relevant.

I’m still skirting the issue but I believe a systems analysis of emerging work requirements could allow the project and knowledge-economic work done to actually be some of the logic required to complete specific value creation. I’m really just brainstorming here and need to go back to ‘Godel, Escher and Bach’ to formalise this concept but ‘information is physical’ as they say.

Edit: I’d also like to add, that obviously I see this as being a function of charitable exchange. I would expect the boingcoin to be more-often donated once accrued. The value would be in seeing the completion of a project goal you desire, rather than the personal acquisition of a good or service.

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Virtual economies are already tied to ‘real world’ value:

Interesting reading and contain many examples of different stages of interaction with real economic exchanges and currencies.

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Valve is an example of one of these organisations. As I understand their project development; it’s basically a bunch of self directing entities that through self organisation and very-little to no management interference, gather to donate skills and time to the projects they would naturally be able to contribute the most value to.



More theory:

But I don’t think society organizes itself spontaneously. People are constantly making conscious decisions about how a society should be or shouldn’t be. That is constantly being negotiated and renegotiated. Human beings are social creatures, and that’s what makes a social structure. It doesn’t just happen, people make it happen. I think the concepts that argue that things “happen” miss the mark.

It is the results of how those decisions contribute to the emerging economy of thought and action from which value is derived that is self organising. And you could also argue that those self-directing thoughts of the humans involved are also emerging from their cultural milieu and neurological state.

Just to point to an emerging system and say, ‘well, it’s constituted of self directing actors’ doesn’t negate the emerging properties of the system, it just pushes the system(s economic characteristics to which one is paying attention) up a level of organisational complexity.

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But “self-directing” assumes that they are wholly autonomous, and that’s is not the case and is never the case within a social structure. Self-directing would assume that an individual makes decisions based only on their own situation/initiative/whatever, but in the real world, that rarely if ever happens. We make any number of choices based on our interactions with each other. The economy or society is not really an organism, but is the collective reality of our interactions. That’s part of the reason it’s always so messy and never conforms to our utopian ideals.

Edited to add: incidentally, this tends to be my issue with economic theory. It doesn’t take the messiness of human interactions into account most times.

Interesting point and I guess it goes to prove that the map is not the territory.

I’m not really catching your drift though. Cultural memes and memplexes arise all of the time from a milieu of disparate actors. People flash mob and perform types of collective behaviour without much agreement on how to best perform the specific project goal. They just decide to take part or not, learn the agreed-on dance moves and turn up to perform, if they like.

I Imagine that there are a small subset of trolls who deliberately organise chaotic events or turn up just to disrupt the collective action but the dissolution of personal boundaries to achieve a collective goal is nothing new. I’m just wondering if a kind of measure of contribution to collective organisation could be formalised.

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At first, I read that as “bongcoin”, and now I’m really disappointed.

In all seriousness, what is the point of doing this? At least, Ars Technica’s “Arscoin” had a funny-sounding name. Bitcoin has value because greedy people (read: venture capitalists) and delusional people have already bought into it. Where would the value for this thing even come from? Nobody would accept it in lieu of actual money, and there’s no reason to pay people for volunteering.