[p2p-research] Metacurrency

Samuel Rose samuel.rose at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 05:59:01 PDT 2009

Gerry, I am interested in the metacurrency event. My own interest lies
in creating a set of simple open standards around alternative
currencies. My interest is that these simple standards be adoptable
across many different web applications.

Everyone keeps pointing me to the metacurrency project, and I keep
repeating that metacurrency project does not have any published simple
standard that I can adopt. They do have examples, but they are not
complete, and do not constitute a replicable body of work. Plus, in my
opinion, metacurrency approach is overly complicated.

I also see something missing from metacurrency.org, and that is that
"currency" can depend on the ecology/medium. This is different than
traditional currency, and allows "money" to be tied to what is being
exchanged within the system.

I talked with Paul Hartzog in Ann Arbor about something similar recently:

The idea that the medium of activity dictates the "currency". Paul
uses the example of bittorrent: For users of bittorrent, the currency
of exchange is literally the "bit". You have to upload to download,
and you can upload more now, which will let you download more later
(thus creating a surplus within the whole system). These types of
exchanges are not "market" exchanges, like buying and selling. They
are commons-based exchanges, where participants have feedback about
how they are taking from and contributing to the common-pool resource
of bandwidth in the bittorrent system... Read More

There are also similar commons-based webs of exchanges between people
and natural systems that can follow a "code", and the "code" need not
be like a script on a computer.

Instead it can be more like an agent based model, where you follow
simple rules about how you act within a system. Achievement of
creating a balance between yourself and the system will usually
consist of what you take from system, and what you put back in.

The argument that Paul and I make is that you can also look at your
yourself as a fractal micro-cosm of the larger system you are a part
of. You can look at where you are getting inputs from, and where your
outputs go to. What you take in can be from the "waste" of someone
else ("waste equals food"), what you output could be the basis of raw
... Read Morematerial for other's "input". These are the simple rules,
the "code" for what I call a "wealth generating ecology" (wealth =
other kinds of wealth beyond just money) a system that can generate
surplus consistently even for one person, and can exponentially
generate surplus as more people enter the system. The catch is that
most of the resources end up being voluntarily or systematically
co-managed as a "commons": a resource that everyone who uses
recognizes as something that no one user fully owns, and so must be
co-governed somehow by users. (resource is not just physical object,
can be the combined time and attention of people, etc)

(Gerry: copied this to p2p research list, I feel that people there
would be interested in this exchange. I clipped off your personal
notes to me)

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose at gmail.com

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
ambition." - Carl Sagan

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