OK, first of all, the whole point in your community having a digital currency is basically just that, to be represented in the digital economic space by a monetary system that is somehow representative of your community in some way.

It’s not just an advert for itself but if you prefer to think of it that way then go ahead.

It is a technical chellenge, an interesting concept, and I would have hoped, a way of sparking a conversation about what it is possible to attribute value to if you were to design a digital currency from the ground up because you can.


You can attribute value to anything - gold, Bitcoins, upvotes, human blood, whatever. If enough people agree with you, you can even transfer value by giving them your Krugerrands or bleeding on them or something. However, that doesn’t really “disrupt” anything, because the rest of the world is still using actual money, and it doesn’t care about your free-flowing sanguinary economy.

If you have ideas about how “Boingcoin” is to be something more than the several dozen Bitcoin imitators, then I’m all ears. If not, I’m not sure why create yet another worthless digital currency. Because you can isn’t very convincing.

[quote=“miasm, post:31, topic:37389”][quote=“the_borderer, post:30, topic:37389”]
considering where you are getting the idea for this from, I think that most anarchist collectives will be unwilling to get involved.
[/quote]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.

You have this anarchist’s interest piqued…


Well apparently not, because what I’m hearing isn’t like Bitcoin imitators much at all, AFAICT.

Here’s a clue:

IMO it’d be laughably generous to bestow that definition on currency as we know it.

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What is the point of doing that? As in, why is it something that needs measuring?

Have you looked out the window lately? It’s a fucking mess.

If you could refrain from glib one-liners and actually answer my questions, that would be great. I don’t need you to point out that there are economic problems in the world. That much is obvious.

To reiterate/restate:

If one wishes to do away with money altogether, what is the point of introducing “a measure of contribution to collective organisation”? If not, then what is the point of creating yet another digital currency? How would it be better/different than what already exists? What is the end goal for such a currency?

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…One will probably need a shitload of patience.

Seems to me, the point of this ‘yet another digital currency’ (can you not get hung up on the medium? Everything is digital from here on in), is to transition society from a system based on extrinsic motivation to one based on intrinsic motivation.

Once folks have a chance to see the principle of altruism = enlightened self-interest comprehensively demonstrated, then we can start to talk about sweeping all forms of currency aside, maybe.

Dominant cultural paradigms have a fair bit of inertia; this is like peeling off velcro.

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This is not the in depth reply I wanted to give, but it is the one I have time for.

Anarchists do not agree with Hayek on much, unless we are talking about anarcho-capitalists. There is a well worn path towards a luck dragon’s mouth regarding whether anarcho-capitalists are really anarchists, so I’ll only leave a link to the relevent section of the anarchism FAQ.

I want to give a better answer, and I might if I don’t get arrested this afternoon. Oxford City Council are attempting to take posession of East Oxford Community Centre, possibly at 4PM BST. I don’t intend to let them.

I may not agree with the idea of boingcoin but I do want to see if any useful ideas come from the discussion


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And what “intrinsic motivation” would that be? Seriously, this is exactly what I’m asking. What exactly is it you (or whoever) expect people to understand?

I don’t agree. Not everything should be digital, nor is it, I think desirable for everything to be digital. there are advantages, but there are major disadvantages, too. Taking currency digital is yet another layer of disconnect from actual value, which is based on physical labor. Some of that can be digital, sure, but there are lots of things in the world which are not, couldn’t be, and probably shouldn’t be. The internet itself emerged out of a cold war military project, and that I think shapes the whole thing. That doesn’t mean the internet can’t be a good thing or useful, but I think it should make us wary.

I mean that there is not structure without the social, not the other way around, which you seem to be implying. Flash mobs, to take one of your examples, are not spontaneous in the sense that they just happen. People make decisions to be a part of it, to plan it. Human beings make it from top to bottom. Human culture has no meaning without human beings to make the meaning. Institutions and structures seem to work spontaneously, but they really don’t. It’s the function of people making decisions and negotiating constantly. The whole idea that a market just happens I don’t think it true. Markets are artificial, made things. That’s not bad. It can be, but it can also be good, if the people involved in that market make the decision to make sure it takes human needs into account.

Economist Karl Polyani’s major argument was that the problem with the modern economy (he was writing at the end of WW2, so keep that in mind), led to the dehumanization of the market. Economic exchange was no longer in the service of man, but man was in the service of the market (and the people who structure and control the market - now this includes wall street, international banks, the World Bank, central banks, silicon valley, etc). In other words, human need was no longer first, but was secondary to the operation of the market. This was in The Great Transformation.
And Pierre Bourdieu did some interesting work on showing how the french housing market was constructed in postwar france.

The connection, I think with digital currency is who has constructed this market, and who has benefited the most. I agree that central government control can be a very bad thing, but unless there is transparency, that’s also a major problem with decentralized currency.

As for this, I think some of the folks are uncertain about the purpose of a boingcoin. What value does it add that the badge system doesn’t? I guess maybe some of us don’t think that is clear.

I also agree with others who said that most/many/some anarchists, unless they are anarcho-capitalists (radical libertarians, I guess), are not going to be down with digital currency in general. the point is to get out of these structures, including the structure of currency. This just adds a further layer of distance from the processes that create value, I think. But, since I don’t identify as an anarchist (though I’m certainly deeply sympathetic), I see that as a major point that needs to be wrestled with.

Hope they come back...

Good Luck!

I’m not really pointedly interested in attracting self-identifying anarchists to this idea specifically over any other particular group. (apart from you @kimmo :wink:)

IMO bending over backwards for a particular tenet or philosophical framework when attempting to bring an idea through entelechy is unnecessary. Perhaps worse than poisonous in some situations.

I’d like to think that in repurposing these ideas for a specific goal that they transcend the framework from which they have been lifted.

I am, as I’ve mentioned before, interested in how (using measuring techniques that have traditionally ironic origins) the value of work, as determined by a free association of self-determining actors can be linked, through the linking of computational (cryptographic) processing ‘work’ to the events and behaviours that denote a reduction of entropy in the system of a community (designed and driven) project.

If the value of the computation done in the physical world as regards reducing entropy and completing the project was agreed on by everyone involved in the project, I think you would see a decrease in the importance of management roles, specifically middle management roles and an increase in the importance of the work being done ‘at the coal-face’.

[rest of answer may also answer @WalterPlinge, I summon you!]

I’ve worked on anarcho-collective-community projects before and to state that “the ‘organisers’ do fuck all of the work and reap all of the benefit and that the teams of workers (some of whom do organising work) do all of the work and reap little of the benefit,” is an ever-so-slight understatement.

Except you get to stand back at some point whilst it’s happening and think, “I helped make that”.

Only problem is that the often inebriated, probably missing-for-hours-with-the-cash, Senior Managementation Engineerer, also stood back and thought the same god-damned thing.

So, to recoup my thoughts, as they are;

  • A project with internally defined goals sheds entropy and increases
    order as it progresses.
  • There is computational work being done within the framework of the
    completion of the logic of the project.
  • A freely associated set of self-directing actors who agree to partake
    in a project and help define its goals can agree on the value of the
    work required to meet those goals.
  • Currency measures value.
  • Computational work and proof of that work done is instrumental in the
    creation of some digital currencies.

But I’m also sort of suggesting that because the work is already represented outside of the digital environment and “Information is physical”, there may be some way of directly entraining the computational work done to validate the currency with the work done in the logical completion of a project plan.

Also, I guess the preferred measuring technique is of little importance.

I’m not in charge. Suggest something.

do away with money altogether

Why on earth would I want to do that…


But srsly that’s not what I’m proposing. I summoned you to another answer in the thread where I go into detail. More detail.

I could call it Q-coin and have the logo be a smiling John de Lancie if that would make it more palatable.

I’m not suggesting a replacement of the badges and really, don’t have any grievance or any desire to do something with the site, or am I looking to change boingboing in any way at all.

Perhaps I should have really started off with a question like:

If you were to imagine that there was such a thing as boingcoin and it in some way stood for the things that you love about the community spirit of boingboing, how do you think such a thing would be structured?

I could sit here and think of a trillion reasons not to do anything but I’d really like to start hearing other suggestions about how and in what way it could be a wonderful, non-traditional, cybernetic, anti-authoritarian, feline, thought-provoking, bananalike, made thing.

…OK so now they have to be minted in yellow gold.

I also agree with others who said that most/many/some anarchists, unless they are anarcho-capitalists (radical libertarians, I guess), are not going to be down with digital currency in general. the point is to get out of these structures, including the structure of currency.

I was trying to undermine the traditional concept of money by displacing the centre of value but whatever.


This just adds a further layer of distance from the processes that create value, I think.

I’m glad you put that ‘think’ in there because I’m really shouting about why it is a ‘subtractive’ layer, or an ‘enmeshing’ or ‘entraining’ layer or something.

If it has to be a layer, think of it like a filter layer in photoshop which makes everything clearer.

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I guess I’m unclear of how this does so? Maybe I’m just dense… :wink:

That was me being facetious. :slight_smile: