Invitation (waaaaay off-topic)

Chad Perrin perrin at
Tue Feb 15 19:19:50 UTC 2011

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 01:48:18AM +0000, Simon Tibble wrote:
> On 14/02/11 23:42, Chad Perrin wrote:
> > 
> > Broken.  Won't work.  It's too bureaucratic for too little
> > (immediate) return to catch on, and its bureaucracy would guarantee
> > long-term corruption.
> This sort of idea will take years to catch on and will be a gradual
> process.  In fact, it has already started in the (primitive) form of
> free open-source software.

Open source software is not equivalent to what you propose.  Open source
software is an ad-hoc gift economy and emergent reputation-based currency
system, more in line with what I described below than what you describe.
The key factor here is that it is distributed and emergent rather than a
centralized command economy, and it pains me to see you periodically
trying to distract people from participation in that culture.

> As for the corruption, at least in a organised contribution based
> system all data will be available for all to see, unlike the corruption
> we have today.  Personal preference: if I can have check-able
> corruption or hidden corruption - I'd choose check-able every time.  In
> fact, I think you'd find people would come to the forefront by actually
> boasting they are the most sound people with solid principles as a
> result of it being open for audit by anyone at anytime.  And because it
> relies on the opinion of others it would be a better framework to build
> on (see eBay's feedback system as an introduction to a the value of
> mass-opinion).

Given the choice between emergent systems that self-correct and
constructed systems that require someone in a position of power to be
honest and trustworthy, I choose the former.  Open source software
development such as goes on in the FreeBSD project offer substantial
evidence in favor of the value of emergent systems -- in part because it
is not *only* the FreeBSD project that offers such evidence.  The
benefits of a gift economy and reputation-based currency in a culture of
free innovation are dependent, here, on the fact that FreeBSD isn't the
One True OS, and isn't the state religion of open source development.

> >
> > We'll probably evolve semi-naturally to a reputation based economy as
> > advancing technology eliminates a lot of basic-needs scarcity, but
> > that's just speculation.  In the meantime, "money" is really nothing
> > but a scalable way to lubricate the process of trade.  The more you
> > centralize the management of money (or its replacement), the less
> > efficiently it works -- and trying to quantify "contribution" through
> > some uniform system as you suggest would require absurd levels of
> > centralization.
> Yes, it would be absurd to introduce it over night, but not more absurb
> than the proposed "Bankor" currency headed our way.  It's probably just
> about the same amount of admin, only with a website it would eliminate
> the need for turning trees into notes/paper.

You missed my point.  See above.

> Also, the people who control the current money efforts conduct their
> affairs behind closed doors and avoid scrutiny.  In an open system
> people will be able to not only see the workings (the maths behind it)
> and they will also be able to vote on it and change it (mass opinion
> outweighs the individual).

The problem in this case is not currency -- it's centralized command of
what constitutes currency.

> >
> > If you really want to do away with money, the best way to do it is to
> > advance the state of the art of automation technology.  You can do
> > this by contributing expertise, time, and money (in decreasing order
> > of importance) to copyfree [0] and open source [1] software
> > development projects such as FreeBSD.  Trying to distract the people
> > contributing to such projects with pie-in-the-sky manifestations of
> > song lyrics from the early '70s [2] is actually counterproductive to
> > that aim.
> Whilst I agree with you on most of this, I want to point out that the
> greatest portion of the available workforce are in front of Facebook
> drooling over Justin Beiber.  The sooner the masses are awoken to the
> truth and shown that a different way of living is even possible, only
> then will we move in the most positive direction at the fastest speed
> possible.  Hence, some think I "spam" simply because I am part of many
> who are attempting to raise awareness of this issue.

It's still spamming -- especially given that the primary effect of your
efforts is to distract people from doing the good work of advancing the
state of the art of copyfree and open source software like FreeBSD.

> There really is nothing more important that this non-utopian
> alternative life choice.

I'd say that giving people their own choices is far more important than
indoctrinating everyone in your choices -- especially when their own
choices involve supporting the FreeBSD project, which should be generally
in line with supporting your overall goals anyway, as far as I've been
able to determine so far.

> I believe American's use the word "kook".  Is that right?  (assuming
> your from the states)

That's *a* correct usage, sure.

> >
> > # NOTES:
> > [0]
> Sorry dude, this is based on an inherently flawed "Law" system.  Try to
> always remember that a "law" is just what one guy says another can or
> cannot do.

What are you going on about?  Did you even *understand* the text on that
page?  If English is not your native language, I'd be happy to help you
grasp the meaning of the terms used there (off-list; this is already
getting off-topic enough).  You don't have to agree with what's on the
page (I only offered the URI as context), but it would be nice if your
disagreement actually had something to do with reality.

> >
> > [1]
> Top notch link dude.  Awesome.  Thanks!  I am definitely reading this
> one.  I'm ashamed to say I've read most of the open source docs, but
> not this one.

I find it odd that you think this is great but reject the preceding link
on the grounds that the page's contents aer somehow "based on an
inherently flawed 'Law' system."  I think you must not actually
understand the content of one or the other of the two sites.

> >
> > [2]
> If we're referencing popular culture, I call on Bill Hicks to do my
> bidding:

I was making a small joke.  Don't take everything so seriously; it'll
lead to heartburn and, perhaps, heart attacks.

Bill Hicks was pretty awesome, though.

> Sorry to any and all for the waaaaay offtopicness.

My point is to try to lead you (by the nose if need be) back to the land
of being on-topic -- because the efforts of people like those involved in
the FreeBSD project are an important part of making the world a better
place.  Better software, especially under a copyfree license like the
FreeBSD preferred variant of the BSD License, helps make the world a
better place.  Distracting people from supporting the development of that
software through contributing technical expertise to other users,
developing software for it, working on improving its documentation,
encouraging others to use it where it will do the most good, and myriad
other approaches, by dragging people into off-topic attempts to shut you
up is counterproductive if you want to make the world a better place.

Consider this: we don't all have to agree with you to contribute to
improving the state of the world.  If we're contributing, in part through
the agency of this mailing list, you should let us do so without
distracting us in a futile attempt to get people to agree with you in the
most contentious, annoying way you can do so (spamming).  After all,
there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Your attempt to convince people that the way you see the path is the One
True Path is distracting people from walking it, which if anything should
be regarded as pushing people off the path to argue with them about
whether the color of the dust on the path is brown or beige.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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