Our current system favours the talker, the entertainer, the wilful person, the persuader, the extrovert and so on. Although we have come a long way, I am fairly convinced the amount of money that flows to those we really value is not high enough.
I have not heard anyone say anything that is outwith the current economic paradigm that isn’t literally about giving things away for free, eg freecycle, various share movements, and all sparked (at least in the last few decades) by programmers sharing code. But the current system can go on quite happily, money laundering its way through the degradation of the natural world, while a bunch of people “buck” the system. It tolerates sharing within the family, for example; it tolerates a certain amount of political and even economic dissension.
An alternative economics, one based on giving — and yet still using money we use nowadays — will produce a different social effect, which may enabling us to be generous, for example, and to value that which we hold dear to us the most: our loved ones, the environment; listeners, contemplators, quiet, loving, careful, open-minded, equanimous people.
designing the happening-hangout
If such an alternative economy exists, the way to prove it, is to test it. That’s the point of the ‘happening hangout’. So, if we set up the happening hangout to reflect us well, and the moneyflow ends up with those we individually and uniquely value; that is, the facilitators get ‘paid’, and more people want to take part. We need to get a result in one hour. I am going to give the experiment a test run of four happening-hangouts, with the end-goal that we have 1,000 people who are wanting to ‘play’ for £10-hour. That means, we are making a collective decision about £10,000 on a weekly basis.
Is this possible? And if so, how?
The question that may come to my mind is, which way does the money go? Does this sound like an odd question to you? It may be, but can we answer it anyway: does the money go outward or inward? Does it go out to the people who are joining it last, or inwards to the people who host, who have done this before?
Traditionally, money goes to the centre, it centralises to kings, governments, banks, companies. Does this suggest that in our alternative economy the money actually goes outwards to the periphery, branching to more and more people, that it becomes diluted…? If this moneyflow was to ever coallesce again, then it would be done by peripheral individuals redirecting the money to those people who they thought deserved it, people they valued. This, actually, is a variation of the Invitational-Protocol.
I am not sure at what stage we are at in the world, whether we can initiate such an IP with the first happening-hangouts. It may be more sensible to think of it as a trust game where participants are inviting the facilitators to play the game, like inviting a referee to steward a football game. Once an activity is decided on, the moneyflow goes to where it has been decided. The fact that it does indicates the trust we have in the facilitators. It is important that all MTTP flows onwards to other people, and the facilitators never take any out for themselves. Their payment must rely on the consequence of the social result of the event.
parameters of experimentation for ha-ha’s
Imagining a state where happening-hangouts are actively springing up with thousands of players, what will distinguish ha-ha’s will be the different flavours of experimentation, whether they are geo-local, what protocols the facilitators use in their engagement, the overal timing of the hangout, and the external apps used like quora, the direction of money-flow, the ‘objective’ of the ha-ha, and so on.
When inviting a bunch of people to a meal, we want to cater for different tastes. My brother had a rule-of-thumb, relying on a few stable dishes he knew how to cook, and add an experimental dish. A level of experimentation is encouraged for every hangout.
If there are enough of us playing these games, we will hone in on few distinct systems that enable different results in the real world. The important thing is that the feedback loop to determine what works is determined not by thinking, but by social impact. In this way, we do no try to ‘isolate parts’, specific people, specific protocols, specific numbers of people. It is very much a ‘wholeness’, and what solutions we evolve are systemic, not at the level of any individual part.
But this is jumping the gun. We definitely need to produce the first set of ha-ha’s that simply work — as good as, if not better than ‘working’ in a company structure.
phase development of ha^2 as interlocking s-curves
Phase zero is coming up with the idea.
Phase one is sharing it, and seeing what people say, who is interested, feedback, gentle awareness. Conversational. This is the stage we are at now. This attracts potential designers, facilitators and contributors, and is on-going in subsequent phases since the entire process is open.
Phase two is inviting the self-selecting team to design the basic DNA of the first ha^2. Who are into open design? Who independently see value in their vision of what the ha-ha could be? What is the basic DNA of the first ha^2? It’s dealing with the mechanics, the software, as well as provisional design of hangout engagement between facilitators, and so on. This will continue as an iterative cycle of evolution in subsequent phases, but we need to have a provisional first game fit for play.
Phase three is the actual embodied experiment. This will require the designers and the facilitators to commit to one or all of the first run of happening-hangouts. Provisionally, it will be a run of four ha-ha’s. We will need some people who are connected enough within a network that by their invitation, we get plenty of people to trial the system. We can not enter into this phase unless we have all the necessary players.
Phase four, what to do if it works? In order for us to enable this, the first website design must have a provisional plan for growth. That is, for example, the ability for participants to start hosting their own ha-ha’s and allow their networks to crowd-fund them. This may even involve ‘companies’ at some stage using this platform.
The first phase arose over a few weeks, engagement with people like John Kellden, Gregory Esau, Joris Claeys, Bert-Ola Bergstrand. The second was sparked inadvertently a week ago with Michael Maranda which has led to an open, though not particularly well-crafted, invitation. Some incredible engagements with people, like Alex Gagnon, Alexandre Enkerli, Willi Schroll, Anna Blume, Joe Breskin, Grizwald Grim, Susan Cox, and Michael Layne Hartsell. As usual, this is piece-meal. Those who happen upon it, who recommend, who are interested. I will give this period a couple of more weeks. I will be calling for phase two mid-July, and the actual trial to start in August. However, this may all slide since it is summer, so that the experiment is conducted in September. We’ll see, depends on whether there are enough open-designers (which reminds me of meta-designer John Wood) who catch the vibe.