- Paul Lambie:
- Aaron [Renn] says that the government shouldn’t try to sign “gotcha” deals with private parties, but does anyone believe that the aim of private entities is not to take advantage of government officials with such deals?
- Here’s the thing. Wealth is not a number of dollars. It is not a number of material possessions. It’s having options and the ability to take on risk.
- Cynthia Kaufman:
- The idea that human nature is unchangeable and that it is basically selfish or anti-social is used over and over again to discourage people from challenging our current social order. It is one of the mechanisms used to promote cynicism and destroy hope.
- I have to: (shoot this Rhino / suck this dick / deal this crack / rob this house / mug this person / run this racket / flip this cheeseburger / add micro transactions to this game / deny this claim / drill this deep ocean well / keep working for this !@#$%ing company / …(List_1))
- In order to: (aquire money / feed my children / attract a relationship / give myself and my family a decent quality of life / …(List_2))
- [Universal basic income] raises the “temperature” of the collective economic body. The barrier for people getting together and doing grassroots and idealistic work, anywhere — all the work we already have been brewing for decades — suddenly lowers from a 100 ft brick wall to a cute 1ft white wooden fence.
- Cathy O’Neil:
- I’m a sucker for reverse-engineering powerful algorithms, even when there are major caveats.
- Sometimes you have to take a job that you know will be a bad fit because you would prefer eating to not eating. Never, and I mean never, feel like you have to defend or justify that choice.
In conventional accounting software such as GnuCash, a dupermarket receipt might be entered thus:
A particular line item in the receipt, say the cinnamon, is charged to a certain account, and that account is debited by the $3.79 price of the cinnamon. The credit side of the transaction is to the checking account; a portion of the $67.01 total. In thingcentric accounting as I propose it, the cinnamon purchase is not treated as a line item in a transaction covering a shopping cart full of merchandise, but a transaction that takes place when the cinnamon is added to the cart:
|epoch||thing||valuation||credit account||debit account|
|1402597800||Spice Islands® ground saigon cinnamon, 1.9 oz. glass jar||3.79||Liabilities:Accounts Payable:Kroger||Assets:Inventory:Food:Dry Goods:Seasonings|
The accounts payable credit will be cancelled at the cash register. The main difference is that we’re moving from debit and credit amounts to debit and credit accounts. Note that I put credit account on the left and debit account to the right. This is because I think of them as “from account” and “to account,” respectively. At the time we open the jar of cinnamon, we enter a transaction “from” inventory “to” an expenditure account appropriate to cinnamon.
In this system, inventory accounts in general are intended to be shared information. This is so we can do “internet of things” and hopefully do so without the middlecritter (i.e. do so cooperatively as contrasted with commercially). It should be able to answer questions like “where is the nearest X” that is in the possession of someone in the network of participants. I’m thinking network because I’ve been looking at ValueNetwork, the accounting platform for networks. This would be most straightforward if inventory is geotagged, but with that there is a privacy and security issue in that information about the presence of valuables in private homes is revealed. This brings us to the co-opted version of “sharing economy,” whose cheerleaders point out that transactions can take place between individuals, cutting out som(bunall) middlecritters. The middlecritter still standing is the “reputation metric provider,” an industry that almost overnight has produced at least one billion-dollar fortune. The reputation engine itself is decidedly closed-source, encumbered by as many copyrights, trademarks and pantents as can be secured, and of course has all the information monetization schemes to be expected of commercial mobile apps in general. It is also becoming clear that information asymmetry is a key ingredient in the business model, in which criteria for exclusion and perhaps blacklisting are closely-guarded trade secrets. The key to a “disruption” in the form of the “sharing economy killer” that we all want is DIY reputation metrics in a way that is open source and open content. If our reputation engine can also offer respect for the privacy of individuals, I guess that would be the icing on the cake.
One approach might be to conceal actual spatial coordinates of a particular inventory item, but allow queries of along the lines of: “Is there an X within Y km of location Z?” Such queries might trigger notifications to the custodians of inventory found by the query; possibly initiating a sequence of messages resulting in the transfer of the goods. Another approach might be to forgo privacy altogether and shore up security through equiveillance. Surveillance cameras that are webcams; one in my pantry seem less privacy-invasive than one in my bathroom. Considerably more importantly, a camera under my auspices seems less privacy-invasive than one under police auspices, landlard auspices, etc. Also, access by the general public to information about my pantry seems less invasive than use of the same information by analytics providers who would use the information strategically, say to deduce or infer my internal price point for certain products.
If we set this up so that inventory accounts are property of the network, then purchases of goods by individuals constitute contribution of dollar-denominated value to the network. Consumption of goods (transfer out of inventory) is of course taking money from the network. There should be a way in which the question of whether someone is putting at least as much value into the network as they are taking out of it that is independent of where the acts of giving and receiving take place, and independent of which inventory custodians are dispensing the goods.
At this point what we have is an actually-sharing-economy that covers distribution of goods created in the actually-existing economy. Bringing the thingcentric accounting to household or cooperative production will of course be in most cases illegal and is where “agorism” comes in, and perhaps Bitcoin, as the authorities will demand not only taxes but licenses. The black-market nature of agorism definitely competes with the goal of extreme transparency. Extreme internal (but only internal) transparency would mean joining rather than beating the black-box “sharing” economy of Über, AirBnB, ad nauseam. The established-so-far simulacrum of sharing economy is heavily “disruptive” to licensing bureaucracy and minimally if at all disruptive to An even bigger challenge at this point is keeping things anagoristic (non-market oriented). What goes into the “valuation” column once labor inputs are in play? Do people self-valuate? Letting the market decide somewhat defeats the purpose (at least one of them). The most important thing to accomplish is to establish such an act of creation as a process or graph node in an Angel Economy, or perhaps recipes in a ValueNetwork implementation. Eventually we want to have not only an inventory of things in possession of the network, but a catalog of things the network is known to be capable of producing.
I suspect the architects of Value Network (“ERP for networks”) have stumbled into some of the same concepts that I did when expanding on Angel Economics:
My first suggestion was to start with a simple production process; organized around one person or some other small number. Identify the inputs and outputs of that process. This activity should be simple, step-by-step and replicable.
In Value Network there is a data schema for modeling economic activity. What stands out to me is that they refer to one of the basic units of economic activity as recipes. Combine that with Value Network being about networks of economic actors, and it becomes clear that Value Network and Angel Economics have much in common. I want to connect with this community, and it looks like their Github presence might be a venue for that, but I don’t know how to approach them. (Hell, I don’t even know how to approach Github, and I understand that’s a common gripe…) Suggestions (or even introductions) would be welcome.
I saw this mandala-like Venn diagram on Facebook:
The Venn Diagram partitions the plane into 14 regions. There are of course 16 possible subsets of the four elements. The two are excluded from the diagram (but hopefully not excluded as possibilities) are
- You are great at it
- The world needs it
- You don’t love it
- You aren’t paid for it
and the complementary scenario:
- You are not great at it
- The world doesn’t need it
- You love it
- You are paid for it
The first of these scenarios identifies by the Venn Diagram as “impossible” might apply to a soldier, probably not in the modern world in which it’s assumed in all but the most tragic countries that soldiers should be paid, but perhaps the “warrior saints” of early Christian history would be historical examples. Maybe the Guardian Angels would be a contemporary example, but I don’t know. The second unacknowledged combination is the territory occupied by a large percentage of those people known as celebrities.
Certain regions of the diagram are associated with certain qualities:
I suppose we could add
As for foundups, I’m not sure. I don’t know whether to think it’s just a well-intentioned pyramid scheme, or something far-reaching and VACIMET-like.
As we contemplate the slow, painful, but hopefully forward progress from the merely voluntary to the snarkily-defended “euvoluntary,” to the thickly voluntary, to the actually palatable, let’s re-visit a concept introduced by the labor movement: the scab. The scab is someone who crosses a picket line. By doing so, they make thing worse for everyone by lowering the standards to which an employer can realistically be held. Yet another example of how the “any job is better than no job” “ethic” is at best an inducement for good people to do bad things.
The word “scab” comes to my mind in reference to a vast array of human actions in addition to people crossing picket lines. Sometimes I’m so expansive in my definition of scab that it means “doing something I wouldn’t do,” or even “doing something I wouldn’t be proud of doing.”
As an agitator for radical social change, my biggest frustration in life is a basically passive attitude toward private and public institutions on the part of a sizable share (normally a majority) of the population.
The gravity of these random acts of scabbiness ranges from petty annoyances like people who gripe about each Facebook policy change but don’t leave Facebook, to the mere existence of people literally working for pennies via Mechanical Turk. Just creating proof of concept for a race to a point that close to the bottom seems to me to cross the line from scabbiness into outright class treason.
Lest I be too judgmental…
Like probably everyone, I am guilty of many instances of shameful, scabby conduct. Since my own life expectations have largely been a case study in moving the goalposts, my excuses are likewise pathetic. Instead of the Yuppie Nuremberg Principle (“I’ve got a mortgage”) I’ve been whittled down to the Precariat Nuremberg Principle (“I need the experience”).
Funny how experience gets treated as a scarce commodity regardless of whether you’re buying or selling.
Solidarity, folks. Solidarity.
There is no article of faith more fancifully supernatural than belief in a natural free market.
Because when people are living on the bleeding edge, at the absolute lowest cost of existence in this society, then occasionally things are going to go wrong and the person is going to run out of money.
The elite is composed of generally smart people with servants who are either useful idiots or who have narrowly circumscribed interests/intelligence. But they are not geniuses. Elite machinations seem complex and hard to think about because the vast majority of the public is not involved in them, is not aware of the details and calculations made. Elites simply know their own business and interests and we generally do not.
The division between the commercial sector and the public sector might be a convenient rhetorical choice, but it is incoherent as an analytical framework through which to understand the politics of a surveillance society.
Nobody gets to decide who’s being poor correctly.
Education, skills and experience cannot compete with the network.
In their article, Taylor and Appel wonder if it is “time to ask whether education alone can really move people up the class ladder.” With all due respect, that is the wrong question. It is time to ask whether or not there should be a ladder. And the answer is no.
Privatizing the police does not constitute abolishing the police. Anarchy refers to an unpoliced population, not a privately policed one. If anything, the accountability-in-theory of a local police department to the community at large is a lesser evil (though still of course an evil) than the accountability-in-practice of a security firm to its paying customers.
Unrestrained human nature is basically safe, or it is not, in which case you are a statist.