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Adventures in mutual credit

Reflections on strategy 2010

While the problems faced by Western economies can be thoroughly explained through monetary policy, the solutions clearly do not lie in simply promoting economic alternatives. People don't want to engage with economics, they don't understand it, especially when experts disagree. Only the disenfranchised - the least influential people - will listen. CC Advocates need to be more strategic than to talk about economics - the world and his wife is talking about economics. Instead, I propose, they should be working more closely with those who are already building communities.

Guillaume Lebleu

Guillaume Lebleu worked for 8 years in the banking system and he really understands how credit creation works, and why the system is like it is. Most of my economics education comes from things like 'The Money Masters' and 'Money as Debt', which paints an alarming picture of a corrupt system ravaging the earth and indenturing its people using debt instruments. Guillaume understands why the currency system is the best of all possible worlds so far, although it has its faults.

The next step for Craft4Trade

Sergio Lub was doing social networking long before facebook or anything in that ilk in 1997. His network, Friendly Favors, has over 50,000 members, but needs to migrate to a more modern platform if it is progress. Faceboook and the barter networks have a damning deficiency, in his opinion, which is that they fail to capitalise or value trust. Ebay does trust, but ebay isn't actually about relationship building or barter, and the trust is not based on relationship, but only on the trading experience - it is completely impersonal, and no credit is extended.

Appeal to elsewhere

Humans, their composition, their history, their behaviour seem (to them) the most complex and interesting entities in the universe.
I'd love to explore this complexity with you, but time is short; my species is in the throes of an existential crisis.

Advise me: Mutual credit caching strategies

Mutual credit accounting is very easy because you just store all the transactions in one table with

  • a payer
  • a payee
  • a quantity

, and then add up all the transactions per user to get the balances. However once a mutual credit system gets larger, it becomes expensive to add up all these transactions. So a caching strategy is needed.

The easiest and most obvious caching is on the member balances. But there are two other main needs:

Radical giving. You heard it here first

Can you feel it? That moment after Coyote runs off a cliff, his legs stop spinning, only his uncomprehension that the road ran out is keeping him the air. He looks down, looks to camera and....

Local Currencies - Peter North

Here's the meat from Peter North's book:

  • You might have a large number of green-minded, quite self-starting and alternative people in your community, but not many locally owned businesses. LETS might be the best option.
  • You might feel that people in your area need more support, are currently excluded from the economy and involving businesses is not a priority at all. Time banking might be best.

Cyclos / Drupal revelations

Phew, just emerged from the most intensive gathering of CC practitioners. It was part of the GICC, a project run by Gill Seyfang. I won't recount all that took place but i think the official deliverable was well met, and a host of good advice was collected and I look forward to its dissemination.

I have a much better idea of what Cyclos does, after finally having sat down with a member of the team. And consequently I now better understand the role that the mutual credit module for Drupal has to play.

What I learned from the Finance Lab

World Wildlife Fund has realised that the global market system plays a fundamental role in driving environmental destruction. They have created an initiative called 'The Finance Lab' which aims to bring together diverse perspectives to identify and push healthier alternatives. This is a multi-year process.

CC Magazine picked up!

Community Forge has decided to take on the publishing of the CC Magazine and run it as a Community Production.

There will be one final issue published by Mark Herpel, the originator of the project.

We are appealing for volunteers to help identify content, build relationships, and help with the Desktop publishing. John Rogers of Value For People, has already agreed to write a regular column and we have 2 tentative graphics volunteers!


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