centerless politic and old people!

I think I’ve worked out the social form that creates a dynamic, centerless politic! It’s come out of the experience of the ha-ha’s, and involves compression and expansion of the phase space of £-people-time. Circulation of money in equity cycles, what I originally understood as horizontal and vertical but is now sequential in time, makes money ‘well-behaved’ while giving rise to a subjective enumeration network which tracks our own individual personal value. Lovely.

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A centreless politic is something I have had my eye out for over a decade. How to create a social dynamic that is centerless, and yet stable? Our current politics and economics suffers from emphasis on the centre, on the pinnacle of the pyramid, on ego, on selfishness and ownership. We area culture dominated by ‘leaders’, and worse, institutional forms that places control centrally regardless of the capacity of the people who occupy central positions. A centerless politics provides us with a completely different social dynamic.

Because of the initial conditions of giving money before deciding where the money is going to be directed, the ha-ha’s create a centerless structure. However, it was only half of the dynamic of the torus — the compressive aspect. That is, when a bunch of people agree to give-it-forward to a smaller number of individuals, represented as the movement from outside the torus to the inside. The other half was not obvious, and is the reason why the ha-ha’s failed — the expansive aspect. What is the social force equivalent to more people being involved? Yup, the Invitational-Protocol. During the co-design period in August, I put it to everyone for the second meeting that we needed to come up with the IP that would work given the limited technology. We don’t have a means of tracking our Invitations, so we settled on using an off-the-shelf ‘crowd-funding’ template.

Anyway, if we sort out the IP, being careful how money-people-time expands, so we have the two parts to making this centerless politic exist!

how many people will we need to make it work?

Because we are dealing with fluids, it is not a straight forward ‘number of bodies’. Just like one’s pulse can be measured not just by number of heart-beats per minute or the blood pressure, the Chinese have several more subtle indicators.

We need to consider density — the number of people within a period of time. We might have several ha-ha’s running simultaneously, each with their own settings. Most of the feedback during the ha-ha’s involved suggestions to improve the tech, making it easier for people to be represented, dreaming up new bespoke tools — check these rather interesting social toys, by the way, specifically Points of Unity.

We wanted to get 100 people in the last ha-ha, to create the conditions that is beyond a small group. We simply don’t have any direct experiential feedback at this level, apart from when we work in companies and governments, or when we are audiences, or take part in self-organising systems like driving on the roads. We didn’t create the conditions, we didn’t meet the right density.

We may also want to consider density in terms of the Invitational-Protocol, how many people we invite, over what period, and with what quality, and range of gleick-group we are tapping into — it is wiser to invite only a few from each social group we may have, rather than all from a social group of like-minded people, which is our traditional way of organising ourselves.

and where to the old folks come in?

Because it works scalably, I have no idea of the threshold numbers from this end, from initial start-up situations; less than a hundred, perhaps only 40, but over a few ha-ha’s. From the back-end of global unity, using the old back-casting thought-experiment we should be familiar with by now, I know the peer group that can make it happen — old people! When we are talking about change over a couple of decades, over a generation, there is only one generation that can almost guarantee that they will not be about, thus deriving our centerless politic. Ie, if it is started with old people, rather than young and wilful, they may be able to kick-start the conditions that in a decade bring fruition for us all globally. It requires this level of vision, something we tend not to think old people have. However, with their age, this kind of period is well within their grasp to understand and to operate by. Think about old folks and their grandchildren, and the legacy they are leaving them globally.

I tried this idea out with a housemate, and the idea got immediately dumped. He only saw the problems that may arise from children worries about their parents being fleeced. Yes, there are problems, and problems which we may not be able to overcome. Still, global unity isn’t going to come about without challenges. This is a challenge that they may need to take on. It is not up to us.

So, I believe this is a rather beautiful invitation for old people to regain some of their lost respect, and bring into existence a sustainable world. I doubt if anyone will get this in this day and age, and also because very few (less than a handful) have any insight of the potential of the protocols, but my, it is beautiful. And the invitation goes to those who are terminally ill, or those who are suicidal — a possible way for them to contribute towards creating a centerless politic. And those mature souls who are playing a less-ego-bounded game; for though they may live to see it happen, they are centrelessness enough in their daily practice, that they have some chance of avoiding the power that comes with social attention.

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test the level of your economic confusion

Leigh and I was having a conversation. It’s rather long, but in the middle of it, this observation came up. Consider it now.

Are you reluctant about paying your electricity, water, or gas bill? Why?

We tend to look for the cheapest price for these services. It is not a quality product, like a restaurant meal, where we pay for the flavour that pleases us. It makes sense to pay as little as possible for this basic commodity.

And this is encouraged by companies, who compete for the supply of electricity and gas into our homes. Water companies compete for the local government contracts, attempting to reduce the costs and increase the quality of service.

Apparently this makes sense. And when I consider this, it does make sense. However…

Leigh’s grandmother  used a kettle on an open fire, in her home

Wait! What? Only a couple of generations back, Leigh’s grandmother had an open fire where they would do their cooking. Stoves were an innovation. Aga’s were the business. Only recently have we had gas pumped into our houses.

Consider. No hot water coming out of taps. In many houses, no cold water. Certainly no electricity.

This is the state that the majority of people on the planet are living in. It is remarkable. No wonder people from beautiful parts of the world wish to live in our country, because the standard of living is huge, materially. And it is pervasive. The poorest amoungst us have a roof over our heads, and cold and hot water. This is — incredible!

To have such luxury, such privilege… This is a scarcity situation, this is abundance.

The mental shift

Surely, I should be happy about paying for these incredible services? Surely I should be thankful when I receive a bill?

Why on earth am I reluctant about paying for this? The incredible infrastructure previous generations built into the ground, and continue to service. This is a modern miracle! I should be celebrating every single day when water comes out of a tap! The most precious resource to life — is on tap!

The real world

It is a mistake for companies to push their competitive game upon us, the users, consumers, receivers. It is the wrong game for something as vital as the water and energy. It does not encourage a thankful, grateful attitude.

This economic madness that has turned the western mind insane, completely separated people from the natural world, the universe of energy.

By hacking money at the root level, as with ecosquared protocols specifically MTTP, and replacing money with subjective enumeration, as in SEA, we generate a social system of account that puts us in touch with our natural attitude, bringing a spiritual quality to our engagement, even across such vast and incredible networks that are our energy supply infrastructures.

inaugural happening-hangout

$10 for a piece of future-history!

Inaugural Happening-Hangout tomorrow http://isithappening.org/campaigns/inaugural-ha-ha/ uses the give-it-forwards mechanism integral to ecosquared financial protocols.

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Learn experientially — shift from discussion and community building to direct social impact.

There’s a free option, but it is recommended to put in $10 to get a full experience. Although only a handful of people may turn up (this is only one day’s notice), the social insights the first players get will be essential to the success of the experiment.

building a house ecosquared style

How would I go about building a house if I wanted to do so using ecosquared protocols? I will look at three conditions of social saturation:

  • Red just starting with only you using the protocols
  • Green with teams of people connected in a network using the protocols
  • and Blue where a wide sector of people are sharing within ecosquared protocols

There are many factors to building a house and different ways to categorise its construction, let the following payments are estimates for building a three-bedroom house using traditional economics suffice:

  • land cost, buying land, £100k
  • labour, 40k
  • materials, £120k
  • selling of house £260k +/- whatever the ‘market’ price of such a thing is in the current market

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red solo

Because you are the only person using the protocols, their use is rather limited. Land will be bought, as normal, though you may want to consider the land to be ‘commons’. The materials will also be bought. However, it may be possible to phrase the contracts with suppliers as an MTTP contract. Certain resources may be accessed again in the future, and rather than thinking the money is for the materials, it is more for the relationship to the materials supplier. They just happen to be giving you the bricks, cement, cables, etc.

Labour is conducted as MTTP, whether people understand it or not, it does not matter. It may be possible to open up the potential for a ‘crowd-funded’ house. That is, when the house if finished, the distribution of it worth (if it was sold) would be shared by the value attributed to people’s contribution.

When the house is built, it is ‘open-source’. It is nominally, legally owned by you, but in your mind it is simply the place where you happen to live. Neither the house or the land on which it is built is owned.

Building a house during Red Conditions, means this is more a mental exercise, a thought-experiment, than anything else. It does open up the necessary mentality for future growth however, both in terms of the people engaged to build it, as well as engaging others who have self-built.

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green team

A team gathering to build a house is a little like a ‘barn-building’ community, or a ‘building society’. People are aligning to create a house together, and if they can build one, they may help others as a team so that everyone who contributes ends up living in their own home.

The land is ‘owned’ but is shared in a collective sense. Again, not much meaning here unless the team actually build on mutual, shared ground.

The labour can be paid for via MTTP, and if within the team, it is volunteered. Subjective enumeration is the basic means of tracking people’s contributions. This should map in some way to the current market costs, for laying foundation, brickwork, panelling, flooring, electrical system etc. It should be possible to estimate the ‘return’ to each contributor via SEA should the house be sold.

Resources are bought off market. Again, this is a standard ‘trade’ exchange, money for resources, however it may also be clothed as an MTTP contract, to invite suppliers into the ecosquared supply chain.

The finished house is owned collectively, but is occupied by whoever is living there. The current inhabitants are stewards of the building. This should enable greater flexibility in terms of movement should people want to relocate to other parts of the city, country or the world, by swapping households.

The ‘market-value’ of the house is in terms of traditional economics. In terms of ecosquared, the building has no financial value whatsoever. We may attribute subjective enumeration, presumably by the inhabitants, but this relies on allowing SEA to apply to things. The principle, the practice, is that once the house is built, it is ‘free’. It is a resource to be tracked, to be used, but not to be tabulated with a monetary value.

old fashion barn raising

blue network

Let’s assume that the ecosquared network has end-to-end chains of supply. This means that the build team are simply sharing their resources, as do the suppliers. There is no payment for anything. Materials are given. There may be MTTP contracts, and of course subjective enumeration, depending on the scale of the network.

If this is integrated with an end-to-end supply chain of food too, so that material suppliers and build teams are given food, then the system gets close to becoming fully self-sufficient. Of course, this is still within the current market place, with externalities like oil perhaps, or electricity from a central power grid, and so on, which need to be ‘paid for’. This is balanced by ‘income’ by the entire network as normal jobs. Some participants may take an income as ‘joiners’, ‘bricklayers’, ‘construction workers’, ‘farmers’, ‘teachers’ and so on. Such individuals sell to the current market, and this money is distributed via SEA to all participants within the network.

Because most of the daily resources are internally sourced, whether it happens to be the bricks for the newest buildings or the lettuce in the salad, there is no need for money, personally. Luxuries may be bought by individuals, but this kind of behaviour is frowned upon since the community is still paying for certain collectively required resources, such as electricity, petrol, etc. Once these collective requirements are covered, which is a calculation based on resource allocation and nothing more, the moneyflow which ends up with individuals is spent as each individual sees fit. Because of the way the system works, those who accrue the most money are those who produce the greatest value within the community. This may be related to jobs that people do not want to do, such as working in the sewars, or who happen to provide more invisible skills and services, self-development, social integration, educating kids, etc.

The point is, with the accumulation of material products, as houses, schools, farms, factories, enter into the ‘commons’, so there is no need to pay for these. These resources are shared. Their use is what is tracked using SEA as well as resource allocation economics. There are no owners, so no burgeoning externalities. People are being useful to one another, giving of their produce, whether it is planting a seed and then giving the resulting carrots to others, tutoring kids at math, or constructing bricks. Everything is given freely, and tracked with SEA. Money loses its internal necessity at the rate of which things are being produced within the ecosquared entity; money is no longer needed to ‘buy in’ resources.

 

challenging observation

You decide when these periods of time occur, when we shift from Red to Green to Blue conditions. The rate of social adoption depends on each one of us, individually and collectively, personally and globally.

At some stage, entire communities can become self-sufficient, where money is no longer needed to ‘buy-in’ resources, since they are all generated within ecosquared, food, materials, energy sources. This constitutes the Yellow Condition. Once these conditions apply to all communities globally, then we will have shifted from our current economic system to an economics based on giving, and GIFT will have been completed.

Could something like the Ha-ha’s be used to build a house? Current estimates are about 6 months to build a house. Would 1000 participants be willing to put in £100 to get a house built, using ecological designs, minimal electricity usage, etc — and that house be ‘owned’ by the collective? The current system for enabling ha-ha’s is not strong enough to support this kind of initiative because we can’t track SEA. However, one day the system will be more rigorous, and if participants put £100 per month into these initiatives rather than a mortgage, the world may look rather different in a decade or so.

collective objective ‘light-touch’

Co-designing the ha-ha’s is a good experience, there are plenty of lessons to be learned. Even in the ‘negative’ spaces of what is missed, what is omitted, what doesn’t happen.

I saw this post on a FB group, Campathos, run by Cynthia La Grou.

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My comment was this:

I am finding in our current co-design, people look to one another for perspective. That is, they are focussing on each other rather than the objective. I’d rather look at one another for value, which is inspiring, and keep my attention on the objective, which will enable us to achieve it collectively. Tricky to enable. The basis of human ‘flocking’ I think.

Does this make sense?

hard co-design versus soft co-creation

Co-designing is slightly different than softer, more open-ended creative collaboration. Co-design brings a certain specificity. It’s more like engineering. There are specific settings, parameters, that are demanding. We must obey the laws of physics when building our bridge. We must play with the tools we have. This goes for engineering a bridge, or coding, and — I propose — certain psycho-social dynamics.

The ha-ha’s are not a ‘get together’, a soft social gathering, a ‘feel-good’ event. The objective of the ha-ha is to create consensus with upto 1,000 or more — in an hour! That’s… like… crazy! Impossible, or at least very very demanding if we want to control, force, coerce, argue, etc. However, if we use Trust and we self-organise, I believe we can do it relatively easily — if we get the ‘social tech’ right. It has to be right from the get-go. Hence the emphasis on the Invitational-Protocol, an implementation of the ecosquared financial protocols, the methodology. We are reversing the current economic system. We are practicing aikido, we need to touch just the right pressure points for it to work. ‘Light-touch’ collaboration on a collective objective.

Are we going to co-design this social tech by being soft, looking at one another for instructions, or building community within our own group? I never pretended that we are ‘building community’ between us as co-designers. We see the lay of the land, we have an objective, and we make moves. We do what we can. We allow ourselves to think the impossible. We take courage in that our fellow co-designers are making moves. We see what they are missing and we fill in the gaps. We may support one another as we attempt the impossible! We are self-learning, co-dependent, incredible mutual beings. We are amazing!

the social feedback loop of ha-ha’s

Think about how the ha-ha’s will work, whether we get it right this iteration or not. In one hour, 1000 are not going to ‘befriend’ anyone. There is no time for ‘discussion’. It is not ‘community building’ as we know it. It is not reaching consensus by listening to each member. It is not about aggregating a network with 1,00o like-minded members. So what is the point of it?

Social impact.

That is, if something actually happens in the following week  — this is why we come back together. We managed to do something socially miraculous. We trusted one another enough with our £10 and our 1 hour to enable something amazing to happen in the world.

That’s enough for me. I will die happy if ha-ha’s are working in the world. I will look forward to doing ha-ha’s. I will start to recognise names, I will note quality contributions, I will pursue off-shoots, I will get to know other participants, I will take part more actively in the decided social action and work in more intense teams. All because there is social impact. It is social impact that defines my engagement with others. I exist relative to the social impact. Everyone who is playing ha-ha’s, and learning to humanly flock, is relative to our collective flocking.

Intelligent flocking. Self-herding cats. Heart-connected future-orientated collaboration. Courage and love! Courage to go forward not-knowing, and love as the bond between us.

second critical week of co-design of ha-ha’s

We had our second meeting on Monday, framing what needs to be done this week, namely working out the ‘Invitational-Protocol’, how we invite people to the ha-ha’s and what the tech required to enable a smooth player experience.

I’ve timestamped the first hour so far. There are a few framing bits to start with, framing piece, and then two conversational bits of about 10-15 mins between Doug, Mani and me which are very interesting.
I get the impression when reviewing this, the complexity of the space we are creating within. Amazing to hear Doug’s and Mani’s perspectives. Very revealing, of themselves and their trajectories, but more importantly the space. Doug has a remarkable understanding of the current corporate ecology, Mani is focussing on designing the player experience, and I am attempting to introduce ecosquared financial protocols. If I wasn’t locked into the objective of 1000 people by end of september, this is the kind of conversation we ‘should’ have had in phase 1. I believe our objective would have been different.

benefits of light-touch co-design of a specific instance

I still think we can pursue multiple strategies, which is the benefit of working as lightly as we are. By creating a prototype, by fulfilling our commitment:
    • we have something to show eg reddit or quora which is along Doug’s lines
    • we’ll be able to tighten up an experiential tube to fulfil Mani’s method
    • we have experienced a way of working which is light, and yet fulfils our objective

That is, we have something concrete to take forwards, as well as the experience of trying to integrate our thinking in a specific instance. A second iteration may emerge as a consequential result, either directly through the ha-ha’s if they turn out to be successful, or as a separate trajectory if not.

this week’s co-design focus

So, let’s apply ourselves to the co-design for this week: creating the ‘Invitational-Protocol’. The default is running much like a crowd-funding site. Can we include a loop that binds people through trust? Can we include a financial movement when we invite friends? If we manage it, this increases the chance that the ha-ha’s will work. By binding value, trust, and moneyflow at the dyadic relationship, in the ‘Invitational-Protocol’, we create an ecological economics equivalent to ‘marketing’ and ‘sales’. Check out the MTTP animation, since the IP is a version of MTTP.

Remember, though, it is not sales or marketing, since what we are inviting people to is ‘not-known’. It is a genuine invitation to co-create. Amazing potential — let’s see if we can apply ourselves this week and crack it!

 

financial health and steve jobs

I tried to create a financial projection like you’d find in a business plan, expected revenue, for the ecosquared entity last year, based on a starting fund of £30,000. Silly thing to do since the entity is not a business, however I’ve gone back and stuck in a column called health. It may be a useful thought-experiment. ‘Health’ indicates how many week’s ahead the entity would live without growth and simply honouring MTTP contracts. That is, if no more people were invited, how long would the MTTP contracts be honoured (and this is without considering any money attracted to the value co-produced). Ignore all the other numbers, just the coloured columns have meaning, and the addition left hand ‘health’ column.

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instant health-check

If we are tracking MTTP contrasts as they happen, it should be possible to see how long it will live, at any instant. The spreadsheet above is done weekly. On week 17, for example, the entity will live for another 14 weeks before it dies.
An observation: everyone is responsible for the entity as a whole because the rate of invites will effect the longevity of the entity. Too many invites at a lower period than the current health will further shorten the life-span of the whole entity. Hence the need to invite people at a longer period. Thus, at the level of the whole entity, the notion of competition is redundant. There is no competition at the highest level, since all our well-being depends on the health of everyone.

steve jobs and apple’s responsiveness

One of the reasons Apple took off was because they used their computers to track their accounts. Because of their speed, Steve Jobs was able to see the state of his company on a weekly basis. Thus, he could change rates of production etc based on sales etc on a weekly basis, thus he could out-manouver other companies which relied on quarterly or even annual cycles. This meant he could respond to the market faster. Apple, as an organism, had greater responsiveness and thus a competitive edge.
If the entity forms because of the number of MTTP contracts and people agree to track SEA, it will have the fastest response time ever — instant info — as well as having a completely responsive interface — everyone! Of course, there may be people who are more like Steve Jobs within the network, and hopefully if we recognise them and value them, their input will allow the entity to grow while producing amazing value, whether it is in the form of computers, products, services of experiences.
I like to think of Steve Jobs as a social artist. And though Apple has taken on a monolithic form, the products are very much designed with aesthetic and the people who use the computers have a pleasant disposition. Will MTTP and SEA encourage a similar pleasant disposition to us?

happening-hangouts, a player’s perspective

Having engaged a few people regarding these happening-hangouts, I am encouraged to think about how the actual hangout will occur. However, I do not want to fix on the details since I believe this should form from the process of co-creation once we enter into phase 2. At phase 1, we are simple scouting, conducting a feasibility check, checking out the lay of the land, specing the opportunity space. Thus, what follows are ‘visioning’ experiments, imaginary projections of how the experience of ha-ha may feel to prospective players.

encounter film channel

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It’s 2020 and there are ha-ha’s on TV, a kind of eco-political reality-TV show. The most powerful is hosted by Jason Silva, where 10,000,000 participants have a couple of hours to decide what to do with $100 million, every week.

Purdesh doesn’t go for that scale of game-show. She thinks it is fake, and what are the chances that your idea will ever end up getting the votes? Nope, she is happy with playing on the net, through various small-scale specialist piped through Youtube channels. This is the real home of ha-ha’s, not TV. She’s particularly interested in film, and she’s party to a longer term sequence of ha-ha’s in the production of a full-length indy feature film. Each week, everything is being decided, from the script up. The direction of the film can be altered from week to week. Like the script of Lost, she’s been told, but that’s ancient history. Because they are rolling it out over a two months, and they are in week 3, there’s a lot to determine. There are other channels which provide more flexibility in terms of changing directors, actors and virtually every parameter of the film production, but the quality suffers in terms of production, actors and so on. This film, working title ‘Encounter’, has been promised TV airtime; one of the facilitators is a si-fi Channel Commissioner, another is a professional producer, and they are joined by the director or writer or main actor.

Purdesh’s contributions have been noted: not only have her votes ended up in the ‘winning’ results, but one of her ideas regarding a character actually won in week 2. She is effectively responsible for a character, a girl called Reyka, and she has been invited to co-write the script as an ‘advisor’. If that character remains, which means further developing the plot, she will remain engaged. She’s written herself into the script.

There are forty-thousand people playing this ‘Encounter’ ha-ha, distributed through three threads, writers, production, and sets (both real and virtual), which is $400,000 a week. Because she is contributing to the script thread, Purdesh has the opportunity to take out some money, but she thinks the experience is worth more, connecting with ‘professionals’, getting her script-writing skills an airing. It’s a start. There are plenty of people who are contributing without taking any money out, so that most of the money goes into getting the best graphics and sets in the sets thread. After all, success for the production depends on it looking good and not just to the 40,000 regular participants. It’s got to have professional standards for a TV airing.

awesomest parties

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It’s 2015 and ha-ha’s are as ubiquitous as kick-starter. There are several sites, but the most popular is happening-hangout.com.

Dirk is plays two ha-ha’s a week. A regular tech-orientated ha-ha hosted by Hermione Way from Techfluff.TV. There’s around 120,000 regulars to the show, and they decide what new prototypes to take to production. Dirk really liked the start-up that came second the previous week, a watch-sized phone, and he’s funded it on the slower kick-starter track. Techfluff ha-ha is one of the most popular fast-track channels. Dirk plugs in to the hangout, votes start-ups he likes on a complementary site, a special instance of the stack-overflow system, and watches Hermione Way and her guests talk about the options. There are usually a few prototypes that rise up initially and these end up escaping from the rest, and the comperes draw Dirk’s attention to those which are lost in the shallows of the long-tail distribution. Several times Dirk has switched throughout the hour when a new item appears.

Dirk particularly enjoys watching how a contender shifts from pure voting to when people commit to making it happen. Teams form as players offer their expertise. Because it is all tracked, reputation is everything. Gone are the days when players would say they would code this bit of the app another design the interface, and then nothing would happen. Big let down. With reputation systems tracking player’s contributions, such gaffs weren’t allowed to happen. Dirk himself had contributed to a few start-ups, producing some short music patches on time, and his reputation stats were building gradually. This made him cautious about offering his skills to the more obvious early winners, contributing his skills to those lower down hoping that they get a final rush. Dirk is currently contributing to several start-ups which didn’t make it to the cut but got enough airing to attract his and other’s attention.

The beautiful thing about these ha-ha’s was that you just didn’t know what was going to arise that night. Techfluff-TV had a policy that once a prototype made the cut, the top three four or five main contenders, they weren’t allowed to be entered again. Others ha-ha’s didn’t have this imposition, and though you had the chance to vote and enable your favourite start-up week-in week-out, it got a little political. Which is why Dirk liked Techfluff. It was light enough and fun enough.

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The other ha-ha Dirk participated in was a local one he was heading up himself. He hosted it most weeks and brought in guest facilitators. They had a regular viewing of around 200 players. So they were making weekly decisions for around $2000. It was a local network, mostly his school friends, but there was a mix with friends, students, parents even. They had upgraded a local community centre, put new tablets at the local primary school, but most of the winners involved organising some awesome parties. It was becoming so regular, it was starting to get boring, which is why Dirk was inviting this guy Girvin from the coast on the show this evening. Girvin was a player in a local group in his home town, and he had been funded to come to the big city and drum up interested in a big party, more like a festival.

Dirk didn’t really care where the money went. A lot of the suggestions didn’t involve much money, and he’d roll it over to the following week. He was never very interested in where his $10 went, even though it was all transparent. As a host of his own ha-ha, he realised what a hassle it was to redirect the money to those who needed it to fulfil the chosen activity. It was a head-ache deciding who should get what when the activity was chosen. He’d like to switch to the other mode of money-flow which didn’t centralise with him, where players simply directed their entrance fee directly to those who made a claim for it. But his friends were lazy bastards and they didn’t want the hassle. Looked like other ha-ha’s managed it, and most of them were older. They could deal with the higher level of trust and the responsibility to ensure the money got to the right people. It was just a higher level of granularity of respect, something which Dirk wasn’t interested in himself.

purplebeach happenings

2013, and ha-ha are being trialled for a few weeks. If they don’t hit 1,000 regular players, whether in one ha-ha or across multiple ha-ha on the happening-hangout.com site, the experiment would be over.

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Annamie was asked to host a ha-ha with her network. She put out the invitation to her friends and colleagues. The challenge was simple: $10 and one hour to make a decision about what they could do collectively with $1000. A friend was interested in the process and agreed to guarantee the first show of $1000; regardless of how many people turned up, the amount to be decided about was capped at $1k. No pressure for Annemie. If people didn’t pay their ticket, it didn’t matter, so she felt relieved that she wasn’t ‘selling’ anything to her network.

The people who wanted to take part, booked a ticket, and they were informed when the happening-hangout was going to take place, and their requirement to have a quora.com membership. Most players turned up 5 to 10 minutes early, though the hangout was open 30 mins before it began. Various technical hitches were overcome before Annamie, Stephan and David were engaging on the hangout, and it was broadcast live on air. They would splice the youtube recording with views of the quorum site for viewers who wanted to watch the show afterwards.

During the show itself, the three facilitators were kept on their toes by the various suggestions offered by the players. At first the contributions were rather slow, but Annamie suggested some alternatives and Stephan himself wrote up his idea which got a lot of traction. Half-way through a suggestion triggered off a flurry of activity and the facilitators had a hard time simply reading through the offerings. It was like a chain-reaction, and though it flustered Annamie, David was laughing. It didn’t matter what they thought, since the system would take care of itself.

They had three main contenders towards the end of the hour, and the tables were turned as David pleaded with everyone to vote only for one of them. The true power of the system was that they reached consensus. They could always try another activity the following week. What was important was that they fully realised their power as a collective, aligning to one target. This wasn’t politics. He didn’t want anybody to feel that they were ‘losers’ because they had just been pipped by a few votes. It required self-discipline. The vote swung suddenly in the last minute when Stephan made a startlingly simple observation about one of the activities, how one naturally led to the other.

They money from ticket-sales, $860 was put forward to the next ha-ha which was to be hosted by another facilitator and populated by another network. There was an open invitation to the Purplebeach participants; how many of them would return for the following week’s ha-ha? A decision was made to stick to the ‘gift-it-forwards’ system initiated by Annamie’s friend: ticket-sales paid for the following event, not this one. Thus, it was up to the participants to invite new players in order to increase the amount they would play for in the following week, thus taking the edge off the necessity to invite people for this coming ha-ha. It felt healthier.

provisional mock-up site

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This is what the mock-up looks like. The real one enables participants to host their own ha-ha’s, as demonstrated by the above ‘visioning’ examples. We have a open-hangouts planned for each Monday through August, starting on Monday the 5th at 7pm BST.

the math of p2p economics

Using a relative-value algorithm, SEA (similar to Google Page Rank), social accounting is simply a matter of tracking subjective enumeration. Value is enumerated by each person, and it is not ‘abstracted’ or ‘shared’ or ‘transacted’. Reading this article, for example, you evaluate it as 3 out of 10. This is just one evaluation out of all the evaluations the reader comes up with during a day’s living, whether it is enumerating the contribution of colleagues, foodstuffs, even the weather if they want. Thus, the reader accumulates a ratio of subjective enumerations. By applying the relative-value algorithm, a ‘priority list’ of evaluations is derived — without any external bias. In a pure p2p network, there is no ‘objective’ or ‘externalised’ enumeration, and thus no currency. It really is as simple as this; it worked for google, and made the internet navigable.

how do you go about evaluating?

Let us look more closely at how a person evaluates. In the example above, the reader gives the article a value of 3 out of 10. What are they estimating to have a value of 3?

  • the reader is rating the article
  • the reader is rating the article’s author
  • the reader is rating their reading of the article

These three interpretations derive the quality of economics. In the first, the reader is evaluating a thing, in the second a person, in the third, their own experience. The first interpretation encourages the thinking that all subjective enumerations of the article can be totalled up and an average value derived, much like the totals for eg Amazon seller. The second interpretation is the operating interpretation of ecosquared, which emphasises the importance of a pure p2p evaluation system; things like articles and foodstuffs and so on conform to a resource economy primary based on sharing. The third interpretation essentially tracks gratitude.

All three are valid, and books will be written to share how one goes about evaluating one’s subjective enumeration. After all, some evaluations will lead us to saving this planet from environmental disaster, and other evaluations will continue the degradation. As a pure value-game, it is left up to each and every individual, as it should be for a p2p system.

where does money fit in?

To shift from our current system of an externalised unidimensional accounting system, that is money, to a multi-dimensional social accounting in a pure p2p system, we need to examine the parameters of our current economics. Money has evolved from a basic coupling of number-thing, and yet it is only functional in time, eg using the £10 I received yesterday to pay for something today. Because the basic application of number to social accountancy in money does not contain ‘time’, various ‘add-ons’ have evolved such as interest and compound interest, and with the application of negative number, our current economics is unstable. MTTP, or Money-Time-Trust-Protocol, decouples money-thing and replaces it with money-time, eg £10 is roughly equivalent to an hour. Money thus becomes “well behaved” in a mathematical sense.

Thus, we can invite people to co-create value using the MTTP social contract whether £10 for an hour or £100 for a day or £1000 for a week and so on. It performs the same function as ’employment’: participants have a guaranteed source of income. Notice, there is no bounded entity, no company or government or organisation; MTTP is a purely p2p protocol. The relationships of dyadic p2p contracts constitutes the economic structure of the network. Once the value is produced, and if this attracts money (ie is ‘sold’ using traditional economic parlance), the money attracted is distributed by the ratio of subjective enumeration of each participant member, via the Subjective-Enumeration-Algorithm described above.

the subjective-enumeration-algorithm

The actual algorithm for tracking subjective enumeration looks something like this:

(where V is the value of any person i, d is the “damping factor”, N the total number of people, M the set of people who evaluate person i, the value of Pj at time t)

Check out the math in this document, for both MTTP and SEA.

current p2p foundation engagement

These two protocols/algorithms establish a pure p2p economics, social accountancy with no organisational boundary, no centralised or abstracted authority, and it works for small groups or an entire planet of co-creation. Inherent in this system is the subtlety to educate people to evaluate ‘correctly’ if we wish to engender a sustainable global situation.

Having engaged Tiberius Brastaviceanu of Sensorica, the solutions presented here undercut the level of complexity his community is dealing with. Tiberius is employing a characteristically engineering methodology to the problem of social accounting, attempting to specify all the factors to evaluate an objectively fair % distribution of ‘value exchange’. Who determines the right factors and their evaluations? If there is any ‘externalised’ or ‘authoritative group’, then it is not a pure p2p system and politics rears its ugly head, which is why Sensorica are still struggling with deriving their accounting system that everyone is happy with. Imagine this expanded to the global level. No, the accounting system must be a pure p2p system, as efficient — and perhaps more so — than our current p2p system that is purely based on the unidimensional currency that is money.

experiential iterations and social niches

The word ‘iteration’ has been used to describe the different attempts to put the financial protocols into practice, the fourth of which is the happening-hangout. Let’s reformulate this language.

iterative experiences relative to self

I, David Pinto, have been using the term iteration in relation to my own personal experience. After the first attempt, the birthing of the economic entity in 2012, the team wanted to continue with regular meetings at the Hub. I did not see much future in these, but attended a few. I am not into community building just for the sake of community building. I see this as one of the errors of how we self-organise; before you know it, we are supporting the continuance of social entities that have long-ago surpassed their use-by-date. Most of our social institutions, and indeed cities, suffer from this.

From birthing, I went ahead alone by approaching advertising agencies, and when personal issues intervened later in the year, I delimited my efforts to writing a book, which I have termed the third iteration. As you can tell, this is a personally relative sequence. However, what becomes clear is that different scales of social niche emerge, and it is these that may constitute our collective self-organised strategy.

social niches

The following modes of social experience, or social niches, may help map out the self-organised strategy involved:

  • information: this website, blog, explanatory videos and prezi’s, the book
  • synchronous pairing: tango, textango, MTTP, gems
  • dynamic network alignment: action-cycle, happening-hangouts, SEA

There is a tendency for all initial business engagements to collapse back into an information-exchange. As we know, MTTP departs from the notion of exchange at source and is primarily based on setting up a scalable, synchronous, social experience: money-flow and co-creation first, then evaluation, information etc based on shared experience. MTTP is a financial protocol which embodies the new methodology.

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The new methodology is based on social risk, on play, on not-knowing, on trust. By aligning to a future goal, even if it is as short as an hour or a week, we have something concrete to talk about: to iterate experientially, socially. Otherwise, we fall back into the attractor of what we know, what we can reason, what we think is possible, and so our current system of social paralysis continues.

alone, paired, and collectively

We will go into some detail regarding these three in subsequent posts, suffice to delineate the various scaled ‘projections’ in our ecological economy, as they map to the ‘social niches’ described above, from individual, paired, to small teams:

  • writing fictional narratives (to embody ecosquared financial protocols and their underlying methodology based on giving)
  • engaging the front-line of business (gifting companies, advertising or otherwise, with ‘gems’)
  • opportunistic and receptive meetings (the ‘water-cooler’ effect expanded into all social spheres, to realise social serendipity)
  • birthing the ecosquared entity (attracting a seed fund of around £10k per person in order to play at the ‘organisational’ level)
  • hosting happening-hangouts (monetising social media by actuating the latent potential in our networked relationships)
  • conducting action-cycles (to increase permeability across businesses, government, educational boundaries)