The gift is inherently unquantifiable: to count its worth too closely is to destroy its status as a gift. This might explain why it will never be possible to scale a gift economy beyond small social networks, even with the help of reputation measurement technology. Goods and services haven’t always flowed through market exchanges, and neither do they entirely today. Tribal societies most commonly exchanged value in the form of gifts. Such gifts usually carried obligations to accept and to reciprocate, either directly or indirectly, with the group.
Throughout its 5000 year history, debt has always involved institutions – whether Mesopotamian sacred kingship, Mosaic jubilees, Sharia or Canon Law – that place controls on debt's potentially catastrophic social consequences. It is only in the current era, writes anthropologist David Graeber, that we have begun to see the creation of the first effective planetary administrative system largely in order to protect the interests of creditors. What follows is a fragment of a much larger project of research on debt and debt money in human history. The first and overwhelming conclusion of this project is that in studying economic history, we tend to systematically ignore the role of violence, the absolutely central role of war and slavery in creating and shaping the basic institutions of what we now call "the economy". What's more, origins matter.
Thinking about debt outside the twin intellectual straitjackets of state and market opens up exciting possibilities. For instance, we can ask: in a society in which that foundation of violence had finally been yanked away, what exactly would free men and women owe each other? What sort of promises and commitments should they make to each other?
NB: For a more up to date post on #PunkMoney, go here . In the Middle Ages, producers created their own money as a promise to deliver goods and services in the future, and spent it with people who trusted them. The promisee, who became the bearer of a new credit note, could transfer it to a third party as payment, by signing it on the back. If a note ever came back to the issuer, it would be redeemed for whatever it was a promise for. Personal currencies were effective forms of trust-based local money when bullion was in short supply.
Recently I’ve been thinking about communities, and how to build them. Communities are in some sense defined by the flow of gifts, rather than market-based transactions. Perhaps the kinds of behaviour encouraged by the market is one of the reasons communities have been in decline in recent history.
This is my second post on defining a trust metric for Ripple, or in fact any peer-to-peer credit network which relies solely on trust. In my last post, I looked at a simple approach based on measuring the average ratio of credits and debts for a user. While this wasn’t a bad start to thinking about the problem of trust in general, it suffered from being too simple (I’ll explain why.)
<img alt="Illustration: Aegir Hallmundur; Benjamin Franklin: Corbis" src="/magazine/wp-content/images/18-03/ff_futureofmoney_f.jpg" title="The Future of Money: It's Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free" width="660" height="449" /> Cash in the clouds—neither paper nor plastic. Illustration: Aegir Hallmundur; Benjamin Franklin: Corbis A simple typo gave Michael Ivey the idea for his company.
Description of the system of mutual relations "Eka-People" Key ideas of the system : humanity and balance. Financial relations must become humane, and human relations - balanced. The first can be archived by following the Gold rule of morality - do not "act in relation to other how you would not like, that they acted in relation to you".
Ira Glass This American Life. I'm Ira Glass. Each week on our show of course, we choose a theme, bring you different kinds of stories on that theme. Today's show, "The Invention of Money."
scribd.com/WIRBank , Swiss 'Fureai Kippu': Zeitboerse.ch , People Money - The Promise of Regional Currencies - Margrit Kennedy, Bernard Lietaer, John Rogers book review scribd.com/doc/101250367 Fan page. Complementary Currency materials mainly with Bernard Lietaer, in English, German and French.
Create your money
Thomas H. Greco Jr.
UPDATE (10th June 2011) Dear Transitioners, This is a note to say that we have now began work building a service infrastructure for complementary currencies (Transition Currency 2.0). We are working to the 'Request for Proposal' attached below with some minor modifications. The Dutch complementary currency foundation QOIN are now partners with nef and Transition Network in the development of the service infrastructure, having worked with us from the beginning on the scope and functionality of the system and having now also made a significant financial investment via a Dutch philanthropic donor.