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Why canít we use money?
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can have the benefits of both a global economy and a local economy but networking the local communities together. Keep thing self-sufficient to some degree locally but larger projects (such as computer or space flight as you mentioned) can be done in a distributed fashion. Also, if one local economy runs in to trouble others, by agreement can help out.

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beev



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 112
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou, khim. Your arguments are always refreshing and well articulated. Bootstrapper, isenhand, you should probably check out Ithaca Hours if you haven't done so already....

http://www.ithacahours.com/

It is a local currency system which seems to embody the kind of values you seek for your system. However, you will notice that people do not produce their own, for the simple reason that there are always unscrupulous people who will take the p!ss.

It seems to me that neither of you have any experience of real communities. If you had, you would know the way it is. You get people coming together because of shared beliefs and ideals, yet they always find stuff to disagree on, usually the most important stuff! It is a fact that we are all individuals with our own unique experience of life and therefore our own unique outlook. That does make it hard to "engineer a system" that works for all, but then nobody said it was easy.

Though you envisage communities in which all people know and trust each other and all are able to agree on everything, real life will show you that such a place does not exist. Oh wait, yes it does - it's called Fairyland!
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beev



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 112
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isenhand wrote:
You can have the benefits of both a global economy and a local economy but networking the local communities together. Keep thing self-sufficient to some degree locally but larger projects (such as computer or space flight as you mentioned) can be done in a distributed fashion. Also, if one local economy runs in to trouble others, by agreement can help out.

This makes sense, though still you assume 'agreement' which is often not so forthcoming in the real world.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Bootstrapper, isenhand, you should probably check out Ithaca Hours if you haven't done so already.... >>

Yeap, seen them and they do have some of the same basic ideas as energy credits but they don?t drive a system to lower energy usage but other wise I like them better than the other forms of local currency I have seen.

<< It seems to me that neither of you have any experience of real communities. ? yet they always find stuff to disagree on>>

Yes I have and yes I know (grew up in one). They also find things to agree on and they do come together an often work well. The people side of things is the most awkward area to deal with but methods for the people side are well know so I don?t talk about them much as I think we all know about things like democracy, etc.

<< That does make it hard to "engineer a system" that works for all, but then nobody said it was easy. >>

Correct, same with anything but also it?s not impossible. When you engineer system you do so with a body of experts who know what they are doing with the system and it?s done with a goal in mind and according to the physical limits. Disagreements are often solved by experimentation and demonstrations but even then you can still get disagreement but usually there is a general agreement.

<< Though you envisage communities in which all people know and trust each other and all are able to agree on everything>>

No I don?t, as I said, I just don?t talk too much about the people side.

<< This makes sense, though still you assume 'agreement' which is often not so forthcoming in the real world.>>

There must be a minimum level of agreement for it to work, although you don?t need an agreement on everything. People can agree and act on their agreements in the real world Smile
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 91
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day, khim. Smile

Quote:
This one (good) side of the coin. The other (bad) side is that when local society goes down as the hole (New Orleans is prime example but decline can be more gradual as well) no one from outside will help them: their currency becomes useless since local population can not give nothing to outsiders. It happened in the past many times, it happens now (small African countries or Nauru, for example) and it will happen in the future.


If a community is the victim of a natural disaster, I think that surrounding communities are more likely to rally to it's support than ignore it's plight. After all, in the next disaster, they may be the victims! As far as I know, there are no 'professional' (read 'charging for the service') 'disaster relief' companies, run for profit. They're either Government funded (by your taxes) or volunteers. In the case of the African and Pacific nations, it's the interference of outsiders like the World Bank and the IMF that caused their problems in the first place.

Quote:
There are always trade-offs: with local currency you are reducing risk of global disaster and increasing risk of local disaster - what is better: frequent but localized disasters or unfrequent but global disasters ?


You pays yer money and you takes yer chances! Wink

Quote:
Plus some things are impossible with local currency (like computers or space flight). These are of course good things but are we paying too big price for them in form of inefficiency of globalized economy ? Tough question: localized economies will be inefficient as well - but in different places.


Agreed. The massively centralised economy we live in at the moment is only made possible by oil. When oil gets too expensive to use, the system will collapse. In an energy-poor future, the only alternative I can see, discounting a 'Mad Max' scenario or some form of 'Neo-Feudalism', is a network of more-or-less autonomous local economies/communities. Although I think it's a grevious loss to mankind, I don't think spaceflight will be high on anyone's list of priorities when we're all flat-out feeding ourselves.
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Blue Peter



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1939
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrapper wrote:
Although I think it's a grevious loss to mankind, I don't think spaceflight will be high on anyone's list of priorities when we're all flat-out feeding ourselves.


No, it's quite strange to think that this is the end of space-flight forever. Whatever civilizations may rise and fall, without the energy concentration provided by oil, I can't see them ever being able to achieve space-flight again,


Peter.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don?t think oil is a necessity for space flight. However, if things real go badly then I don?t think space flight will be a priority. We would be too busy just surviving. Maybe a much later date we could look at space flight again, when there is a stable civilization at some point in the future that has gone beyond just surviving. Maybe we need a new thread for space flight?
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day beev Smile

I've checked out Ithica Hours also. A damn good example of what I favour. I have no objection if a local currency (oops! I meant 'gift economy') is issued by one or many entities. All that matters is that people have the freedom to participate in the scheme or not, as they please.

I grew up in a town with a population of 4000 so I don't have experience of really small communities. However, I know that communities do exist and continue to function, in spite of the disagreements amongst their inhabitants. I agree, it would be difficult to 'engineer' a system that works for all. But no one has succeeded yet in making the system we have now work for everyone!

When hard (economic) times come, people will be more open to ideas like the 'gift economy' and I'd rather have plans for something equitable ready than wait around for the first snake-oil salesman to turn up. The more ideas we can think up here and now, the more alternatives we'll have when the need arises. Very Happy
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue Peter wrote:
Bootstrapper wrote:
Although I think it's a grevious loss to mankind, I don't think spaceflight will be high on anyone's list of priorities when we're all flat-out feeding ourselves.


No, it's quite strange to think that this is the end of space-flight forever. Whatever civilizations may rise and fall, without the energy concentration provided by oil, I can't see them ever being able to achieve space-flight again,


Peter.


It makes me sad to think about that. Our intelligence has given us the ability to migrate off the planet and thereby ensure our survival as a species, potentially beyond the lifespan of the world that gave us birth. Our greed has ensured we will share our homeworld's fate.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrapper wrote:
Our greed has ensured we will share our homeworld's fate.


Sometimes I think the human race will get what it deserves. Sad
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