Fwd: Complementary Currencies 1.0 for Drupal released

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dan

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Sep 10, 2009, 2:15:52 PM9/10/09
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For those of you who were interested in my alternative financial system talk last time, check out this brilliant-sounding platform (haven't tried it yet). Also note that Matt is looking for volunteers to go with him to India and implement a community currency and bartering system inside a UNESCO sponsored community. Sounds like an _awesome_ opportunity for a motivated geek to practise tech & social good at the same time. And Matt will meet the (basic) costs!

Cheers,
Dan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Matthew Slater <mats...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 1:38 AM
Subject: Complementary Currencies 1.0 for Drupal released
To: mats...@gmail.com


Thanks for your interest in the Complementary Currencies for Drupal project (formerly marketplace module), sometime in the last year*. The module is now released, I would like to share with you the next stage of the plan. 

I believe that the prevailing money system is at the root of most of humanity's problems, (compare Alan Greenspan's recent remarks about 'human nature')**. Therefore users of this module, especially early adoptors, are part of a radical community which is pushing for change totally outside of the normal political spectrums.

The urgency I perceive cannot be understated as the Western economy teeters on the brink. We desperately need a whole new box of monetary tools. This software is the only usable software which provides a pluggable mutual credit system into a social networking framework. It is ideal for intentional communities, who have few resources and who want to take responsibility for managing credit between themselves. However as just one configuruable component in a Drupal web application, its possibilities extend way beyond LETS-like groups, and I want to make it a much more platform neutral system.

Some of our priorities are now:
  • further abstracting the mutual credit engine to make it independent of Drupal.
  • external API, intertrading, multiple currencies, SMS, widgets, & version 2.0!
  • materials to support communities through the early stages of setting up sustainable governance and management structures
  • strategic marketing to help the project grow and safeguard the project's future in a competitive environment
  • off-the-shelf Drupal installations for specific purposes, such as LETS
I am taking on two more interns so I can concentrate on the core of the project. A sustainable funding model has yet to become apparent from all this work, but it's clear that my having to finance it all is a restraining factor.

I do not have time to jump through the hoops of philanthropic organisations or foundations nor inclination to explain how each Euro is eked out. Nor will I put myself in anyone's debt in order to produce software for the public good. I'm looking for business opportunities which use this software. I can also accept gifts, or sponsored development of specific features. If you wish to offer other kinds of support, then please consider some of the following actions:
  • Forward this email to angel investors, venture capitalists, celebrities etc
  • include a software development component in funding proposals for your project.
  • read the shopping list, and write which is most important for you, and how who you think should cover the costs
  • show the sponsorship appeal  to someone rich, or tell us how to get resources without slowing the pace
  • commit to volunteering. We need Drupal building, drupal coding, graphic design and organisational development skills at the moment.
  • create a buzz - blog about us, talk about us, link to us (and tell us that you did so).
  • payment in kind - invite us to come and stay with your community for a few weeks. We are itinerant and house-trained
  • commission us at commercial rates to help with your site building, or better, to improve the module for everyone.
  • subscribe to the Complementary Currency software RSS feed 
We look forward to forging the the future of money with you!

Matthew Slater

*This is how I got your email. I shall probably write a couple more times over the next year.
**Latest thinking suggests that brains are 'plastic' Which means we make our own, (or each other's) 'human nature'. This is great news, because it puts us in control of ourselves! But forgive my philosophical digression.



--
Daniel Walmsley
Managing Director, Gravity Rail Pty Ltd (http://www.gravityrail.com)
Technical Director, Agent Blank Pty Ltd (http://www.agentblank.com)

Phone: +61 4 0486 4141
Twitter: http://twitter.com/danwalmsley



Duncan Bayne

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Sep 17, 2009, 5:56:19 PM9/17/09
to Trampoline Melbourne
What an interesting idea.

I can see a whole bunch of benefits to this, including that if it was
properly implemented, it would create a nightmare labyrinth for anyone
attempting to implement any kind of progressive taxation on users of
the system (including income tax).

Sadly I didn't get to your alternative financial system talk. Can you
give us the elevator pitch version? I'm also of the mind that the
current monetary system is fatally flawed & guaranteed to fail
(although it may be that another mandatory fiat currency steps up to
take the place of the US$, thereby perpetuating the system even though
the leading proponent may fail).

dan

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Sep 17, 2009, 6:07:07 PM9/17/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
http://www.vimeo.com/groups/trampolinemelb/videos/5026356

That should be the whole talk.

The elevator pitch version. Hm. 

"If we break down currency into what it's _intended_ to do (provide aggregation and subdivision of trust & obligation over time and distance) what could we replace it with?"

(the answer I give is along the lines of: A Multidimensional, Decentralised Web of Trust that includes some modelling of each entity's inputs/outputs)

D

2009/9/18 Duncan Bayne <dhgb...@gmail.com>

Bill Yjoebob

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Sep 17, 2009, 7:10:34 PM9/17/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
i think this sounds like

something DOO economics

VOODOO economics

/i dream of jeannie theme

Duncan Bayne

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Sep 17, 2009, 10:32:04 PM9/17/09
to Trampoline Melbourne
Fascinating talk - love the perspective of financial systems being a
way of modelling trust, and I'm fascinated by the 'fuzzy' trust graph
concept. It doesn't sound like it'd be a terribly hard thing to do in
terms of the technology (although you'd have some serious scaling
issues like any popular tech.) and it'd be fantastically rewarding if
done right.

If such a system were universally adopted, it would revolutionise
elections. I'm imagining chains like: I trust such-and-such a think-
tank, who trust this guy, who trusts this candidate. Would be very
revealing.

The thing that bothers me w.r.t currency is the idea of needs-based
allocation of resources (the example you gave was petrol & cars for
transport in Melbourne) through such a system.

Taking an hypothetical example: imagine a very highly trusted author
called Jo who produces books that other people would have considered
incredibly valuable - traditionally expressing this by buying the
books & making Jo very rich. Under a system of needs-based
allocation, she wouldn't; after all she just _needs_ food, shelter,
power, and old PC running a copy of LyX, and a kilo of dogfood a week
for her mutt named Stanley. She may enjoy flying helicopters and
dining out in the Yarra, but you couldn't say she _needs_ those
things.






Xavier Shay

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Sep 18, 2009, 12:57:41 AM9/18/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
They've built a banking system on top of a CMS? That's just asking for
trouble. If you haven't built it from the ground up for banking (or
something with similar trust requirements), it's never going to be
secure, hence no one is going to trust it. Having no test plan
(automated or other) than I can find in CVS doesn't help matters either.
How well does it deal with concurrency? People don't tolerate "mistakes"
in their banking system as much as they normally do.

You can't overthrow the monetary system with this.

On the face of it, something like ripple
http://p2pfoundation.net/Ripple, with a dedicated spec, seems a much
sounder decision [1]. You can build interfaces to it from your CMS if
you like, but the core service is solid.

With any economy, sound infrastructure that you can rely on is critical.

Apologies if I've misunderstood what is going on here - perhaps I'm
trying to solve the wrong problem.

Cheers,
Xavier

[1] In theory, I haven't looked at the existing implementation yet

On 10/09/09 9:15 PM, dan wrote:
> For those of
> you who were interested in my alternative financial system talk last time, check out this brilliant-sounding platform (haven't tried it yet). Also note that Matt is looking for volunteers to go with him to India and implement a
> community currency and bartering system inside a UNESCO sponsored
> community. Sounds like an _awesome_ opportunity for a motivated geek to
> practise tech & social good at the same time. And Matt will meet the
> (basic) costs!
>
> Cheers,
> Dan
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Matthew Slater* <mats...@gmail.com <mailto:mats...@gmail.com>>
> Date: Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 1:38 AM
> Subject: Complementary Currencies 1.0 for Drupal released
> To: mats...@gmail.com <mailto:mats...@gmail.com>
>
>
> Thanks for your interest in the Complementary Currencies
> <http://drupal.org/project/mutual_credit> for Drupal project (formerly
> marketplace module), sometime in the last year*. The module is now
> released, I would like to share with you the next stage of the plan.
>
> I believe that the prevailing money system is at the root of most of
> humanity's problems, (compare Alan Greenspan's recent remarks
> <http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=Alan+Greenspan+human+nature&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8>
> about 'human nature')**. Therefore users of this module, especially
> early adoptors, are part of a radical community which is pushing for
> change totally outside of the normal political spectrums.
>
> The urgency I perceive cannot be understated as the Western economy
> teeters on the brink. We desperately need a whole new box of monetary
> tools. This software is the only usable software which provides a
> pluggable mutual credit system into a social networking framework. It is
> ideal for intentional communities, who have few resources and who want
> to take responsibility for managing credit between themselves. However
> as just one configuruable component in a Drupal web application, its
> possibilities extend way beyond LETS-like groups, and I want to make it
> a much more platform neutral system.
>
> Some of our priorities are now:
>
> * further abstracting the mutual credit engine to make it
> independent of Drupal.
> * external API, intertrading, multiple currencies, SMS, widgets, &
> version 2.0!
> * materials to support communities through the early stages of
> setting up sustainable governance and management structures
> * strategic marketing to help the project grow and safeguard the
> project's future in a competitive environment
> * off-the-shelf Drupal installations for specific purposes, such as LETS
>
> I am taking on two more interns so I can concentrate on the core of the
> project. A sustainable funding model has yet to become apparent from all
> this work, but it's clear that my having to finance it all is a
> restraining factor.
>
> I do not have time to jump through the hoops of philanthropic
> organisations or foundations nor inclination to explain how each Euro is
> eked out. Nor will I put myself in anyone's debt in order to produce
> software for the public good. I'm looking for business opportunities
> which use this software. I can also accept gifts, or sponsored
> development <http://matslats.net/appeal> of specific features. If you
> wish to offer other kinds of support, then please consider some of the
> following actions:
>
> * Forward this email to angel investors, venture capitalists,
> celebrities etc
> * include a software development component in funding proposals for
> your project.
> * read the shopping list <http://matslats.net/shopping-list>, and
> write which is most important for you, and how who you think
> should cover the costs
> * show the sponsorship appeal <http://matslats.net/appeal> to
> someone rich, or tell us how to get resources without slowing the pace
> * commit to volunteering. We need Drupal building, drupal coding,
> graphic design and organisational development skills at the moment.
> * create a buzz - blog about us, talk about us, link to us (and tell
> us that you did so).
> * payment in kind - invite us to come and stay with your community
> for a few weeks. We are itinerant and house-trained
> * commission us at commercial rates to help with your site building,
> or better, to improve the module for everyone.
> * subscribe to the Complementary Currency software RSS
> <http://matslats.net/complementary_currencies/feed> feed

Duncan Bayne

unread,
Sep 18, 2009, 1:04:48 AM9/18/09
to Trampoline Melbourne
> You can't overthrow the monetary system with this.

Personally, I doubt there's much overthrowing that's necessary. Fiat
currency can't last forever, especially when combined with fractional
reserve banking.

The thing is to have a better, more reliable system in place for
people to migrate to when SHTF. Of course that's assuming you're
_allowed_ to ... bear in mind that Governments get really ratty if
people offer better alternatives to their own paper cr*p. Consider
the laws passed in America w.r.t. gold & silver while they were trying
to enforce the use of legal tender.

Steve Hopkins

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Sep 18, 2009, 1:26:29 AM9/18/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
I think the SHTF when we begin to move to a new financial system...rather than have one there when it does finally happen. 

A few thoughts to throw into the fire...

Can twitter (or something like it) really be used to facilitate micro-payments? I'm skeptical of this...I just don't think it has the ability to scale well. Too many requests would need to ping around the world to confirm that, in fact, I do owe @pat $10...but the thinking behind is not too bad. Trust is there (I would need to actually message @pat or DM him...either way - it's an open communication line with (some) people watching. http://www.gauravonomics.com/blog/twitpay-enables-micropayments-on-twitter/

We use money at the moment because we DON'T trust anyone. IOU doesn't really scale effectively into a mass population.:)

People cannot be trusted and so we have to put our faith in the system of money. It's essentially and e2e network. (well...maybe). We trust that the banks etc etc will just move the cash and that I can get at it from the edgs (ATM, EFTPOS, netbank etc etc). 

Problem is, the trust in THAT system is now shot. The GFC may just be the first step in understanding that the banks/financial institutions have begun tinkering with the rules. We can't just trust that our money is safe anymore. Who knows which off-shore account/investment company has packaged our debt and on-sold it. The ratings system didn't work and at all (because people just 'got' AAA ratings) and so the institutions continued to push the limits with a system that fundamentally, shouldn't be messed with.

I read a great article early on in the crisis in The Age, which compared the problems we we're having to the analogy of fairy-floss. Fairy floss is just solid sugar, heated and spun at high temps/speed, and then woven into the end result which sits on a stick. It's still just the same amount of raw sugar, just combined with air to produce a big ball of fluff. The GFC was initiated, essentially, because the financial institutions simply did this. They took raw coin (debt and mortgages as sugar) - heated and spun it (ratings, leverage and PR spin about market safety) and then put it on a stick (junk bonds etc etc). In the end...though...fairy-floss is just air. So were the junk bonds.

Anyways, enough from me. I'm not even to confidant about what I've put above but wanted to express some of the thoughts I've had whilst this thread has developed.  Great discussion. What is next? Anyone interested in doing a combined talk at Trampoline? Present us with options for society. 
--
m: 0421 366 772
t: stevehopkins

Business isn't linear anymore...it's squiggly! Check out my blog www.thesquigglyline.com/blog

Xavier Shay

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Sep 18, 2009, 7:52:17 AM9/18/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
On 18/09/09 8:26 AM, Steve Hopkins wrote:
> Can twitter (or something like it) really be used to facilitate
> micro-payments?
theoretically it could, but it isn't designed for that purpose, and as
such is never going to work as well as a solely designed payments platform.

> People cannot be trusted and so we have to put our faith in the system
> of money. It's essentially and e2e network. (well...maybe). We trust
> that the banks etc etc will just move the cash and that I can get at it
> from the edgs (ATM, EFTPOS, netbank etc etc).

What a system like ripple does is lower the barrier to entry to be a
trust broker. I trust my dad more than my bank, but with the current
system I can't reflect that choice in my banking.

Realistically, most people would just use a distributed system similar
to how things are now, with a big trusted party handling most
transactions (a bank). This isn't a bad thing (and is in fact
necessary), what is important is that it gives you an out. The current
system could operate totally on a distributed system - it's a subset.

There already systems such as kiva the grameen bank that buck
"traditional money" trends - I reckon having the open tools in place to
support this kind of thing rather than everyone having to reinvent the
wheel is a pretty cool idea.

Think what we can do when the internet is more ubiquitous than the
EFTPOS machine...

> Anyways, enough from me. I'm not even to confidant about what I've put
> above but wanted to express some of the thoughts I've had whilst this
> thread has developed. Great discussion. What is next? Anyone interested
> in doing a combined talk at Trampoline? Present us with options for
> society.

heh, if I can get off the waiting list ;)

Donal

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Sep 18, 2009, 8:09:06 AM9/18/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
This popped back in to my head from last time/related:

Graphical + research paper on multivariate graphs:
http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/project_details.cfm?index=543&id=543&domain=

And this:

Jacek Jonczy, Markus Wuethrich andRolf Haenni, "A Probabilistic Trust
Model for GnuPG", 23rd Chaos Communication Congress, 2006. Available
online at
http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Fahrplan/attachments/1101-JWH06.pdf .
There are well-known algorithms for this (see, e.g. Sheldon M. Ross,
"Introduction to Probability Models", Academic Press, 9th ed. chapter 9).
Jonczy et al essentially assign weights to the PGP notions of complete
trust, marginal trust and no trust, and then use a Markov Chain Monte
Carlo method to calculate the trust level to assign to a certificate
on the
user's keychain.

D.
--
________________________________________________________________________________
Donal

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move
in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

Donal

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Sep 18, 2009, 8:28:50 AM9/18/09
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Oh yeah and these:

"Scrip is any substitute for currency which is not legal tender and is
often a form of credit."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrip

D. (I prefer Privons and Doobies)

Steve Hopkins

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Sep 21, 2009, 12:13:48 AM9/21/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
This is interesting also. Ross pointed it out to me...37signals had a go at 'reinventing' internet banking because the systems suck so much. I like what they achieved. 


Ross Hill

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Sep 21, 2009, 12:17:56 AM9/21/09
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Keep in mind this is 5 years ago too... we should have moved far beyond that in terms of usability. I like where some of the iPhone banking apps are going and it's refreshing to see that finally banks are giving us interfaces in more usable places. 

Ross

Xavier Shay

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Sep 22, 2009, 1:02:41 AM9/22/09
to trampol...@googlegroups.com
guy who owns wordpress recently wrote about starting a bank:
http://ma.tt/2009/08/starting-a-bank/

On 21/09/09 7:13 AM, Steve Hopkins wrote:
> This is interesting also. Ross pointed it out to me...37signals had a go
> at 'reinventing' internet banking because the systems suck so much. I
> like what they achieved.
>
> http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:1v8sqn78vUQJ:37signals.com/better/bank/+37signals+better+bank&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=safari
> <http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:1v8sqn78vUQJ:37signals.com/better/bank/+37signals+better+bank&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=safari>
> www.thesquigglyline.com/blog <http://www.thesquigglyline.com/blog>
>
> >

Pat Allan

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Sep 22, 2009, 2:49:10 AM9/22/09
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I wish he would - I read that and thought 'Where do I sign up?'

--
Pat
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