Adventures in mutual credit

A sociological view of money

In the process of writing and researching for the forthcoming Money and Society MOOC, Jem Bendell and I learned a great deal about the subject we to were teaching. In Lesson 1 in which we investigate the very essense of money Jem introduced me to Georg Simmel's The Philosophy of Money. Simmel was not an economist, but a sociologist, and his understanding of money runs far deeper than any economist I've read.

Ecovillage economy tour: Conclusion

[One condition for my GEN ambassadorship was a writeup at the end of the year. This is it, though I've written up a handful of individual ecovillages previously in this blog]

I've had the honor of spending a several days in several ecovillages, but I didn't manage to write economic profiles of all of them!

A view from Russia

Evgeny Fedorov, from the Russian Parliament, explains what Russian Central Bank's role in the currency war, and then outlines how the USA is planning a coup in Russia.
It is 20 mins of subtitled Russian, so I took notes...

So you want to start a LETS?

Is it a good idea to start a LETS in 2014? The brand is 30 years old, and has a track record littered with poor governance, currency collapse, low participation and high turnover. The domesticated hippies of the 80s and caring sharing consumers of the 90s are not the same as the Occupiers and Transitioners of today. The existing LETS projects at least in UK are failing to thrive even in recession. The movement preferred decentralisation over software coordination, and slicker projects emerge every week.

Responsible donorship

Of course I'm jealous. People tell me every other day that my work is important, but much funding flows to demonstrably stupid projects.

I no longer seek funding or material support or even volunteers for my work. I no longer worry about funded projects overtaking mine. I have understood that what I'm doing is antithetical to money, and unlikely to be funded by any reasonable plutocrat or angel. Just as states and banks simply can't see moneyless people, projects which neither beg nor boast are invisible to donors.

Presentation to HullCoin notes

Reality check: Functions of money

Store of Value for rich people
Medium of exchange for traders/producers
measure of value etc.
No one monetary design is optimal for all functions.

A typology of money

Very little consensus on this. Important for the integrity and long term stability of the project. For all currencies note that the issuer has a tremendous benefit by being able to thrust the money into circulation and usually to control the quantity. Recession means not enough money circulating in the economy.

Solidarity economy networks & Software 2

Last time I described several solidarity economy networks and a bit about their software situation and needs. Today I want to look at some solutions which could help them work in a more integrated way.

This article starts from the specific problem of accounting, and widens out to whole-platform approaches.

For full interoperability the accounting needs to be abstracted out of the community portal into its own service, and made accessible with an API.

Solidarity economy networks & Software 1

The failure of state-level economic policy is driving the emergence of many independent 'solidarity economy' networks accross the world. While the old story says that resources are short and the fittest will survive, these movements are forging a new story about creating local abundance together. As well as creating a new culture, a new spirituality , they are learning how to

  • feed themselves from their gardens better than supermarkets
  • maximise exchange between themselves (and each other) to keep the value local
  • finance sustainable enterprises,
  • pool risk

Ecovillage economy tour: Damanhur

Most ecovillages are progressive outposts on the frontiers of a necessary transition. Damanhur however is the centre of a nascent civilisation. With over 500 adult residents and tens of thousands of connected souls it is the largest ecovillage in Europe; it has created its own culture and its own ways of living in community and understanding and practising spirituality.

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