understanding economic processes as consciousness processes
note that the term sharing economy has been taken over by the market thus depriving it from it’s orignal meaning, therefore some people prefer the term unconditional gifting. here we still use the term sharing economy because it’s original meaning precisely captures what we mean.
in this paper we describe our vision for the sharing economy which is emerging as we speak.
1. we split the question “what does the sharing economy look like?” into two questions:
a. what does (an economic) utopia look like?
b. how to adapt this utopia to humans?
2. what utopia looks like is actually straightforward and can be described as people paying forward, equivalently described by the aforism by louis blanc (1851): i do what i can and i take what i need.
3. we use a framework consisting of three fundamental notions: resources, labour and goals and two derived notions: knowledge and planning.
4. our consciousness is evolving from self consciousness to unity consciousness, hence our behaviour evolves from swapping to sharing. we use the aforementioned framework to deduce from this evolution that our current money system is decomposing into two systems, one for coordination of tasks and one for the canalisation of trust.
so much for the recall.
so suppose we have a group of people all living by the blanc aforism, what does it’s economic process look like? because they only take what they need there is abundance, hence there is space for sharing. they will share resources, labour, goals, knowledge and planning. so they just take what they need and do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. but what goals to set? what do i really need? answering these questions is a matter of consciousness. by engaging in dialogue with my fellows i become aware of both my needs and my talents. in this way the economic process of the sharing economy is a consciousness process. moreover thus unity consciousness is manifested distributedly by the actions of the members of the sharing economy.
in order to support this process these people share all their data, with both read and write access. note that giving write access to eg your planning means that i can plan the labour that you share with us, in other words i can give you an order. and you will execute that order because you trust that i act from a unity perspective. also note that sharing goals usually is called solidarity.
because of the distributed nature of this sharing economy the data is stored distributedly aswell, much like everybody has his own data in his own handheld and copies of the data of his peers that he cooperates with.
also note that the goal of profit has become obsolete. in fact, how should we define profit in this context? in our current economy we use the notion of exchange value to coordinate and calculate profit. as we shall see later, in utopia we use the notion of use value to coordinate. in it’s wake also work (as in jobs) is no longer a goal, but a means to achieve our goals.
so much for utopia.
next we describe a conceivable construction of the sharing economy.
so we need to adapt the above formulated utopia to humans. we expect that there will always be a group of people that doesn’t want to take it’s responsibility. for this group the current economic system is here to stay, this group will carry on swapping, usually by using money. but the others will inhabit the sharing economy and we expect this to take many forms, all based on the same coordination system, but with different constructions for the trust system geared to what people dare trust of each other.
hence we envision three layers:
1. the first layer is our current swapping economy, using money.
2. the second layer is the coordination layer. this layer contains money as a resource, solely used to interact with the first layer.
3. the third layer is the trust layer. this is where myriads of constructions are possible, all based on CRUD-rights on the second layer (CRUD stands for: create, read, update and delete).
combining the above we propose that people wanting to share start sharing their data in the semantic web linking this data to DEMO (see DEMO.nl). they can do that using their own hardware connecting it to the semantic web through a semantic sharing protocol (SSP). the important thing is to give write access, which is like an executable form of sharing due to the links to DEMO.
we will use specialised social media to support the aformentioned dialogue resulting in both consciousness and a healthy plan. these social media should enable:
– what: the dialogue about and the formulation of goals (in a web of mutually supporting goals)
– how: the planning of goals in executable steps, this should be done algorithmically, but we expect these algorithms to be NP-complete, hence we propose that the social media will interact with the users so that these users can supply the heuristics for the algorithm. moreover the algorithm will learn how to plan based on user input.
some words on the planning process using the social media: in this process many possible plans will be identified. the idea is that all these (executable!) plans can be (use) valuated permitting us to choose between different plans. thus we use use value to coordinate. in this way goals are functions on the space of all possible plans, in technical words the space of goals is dual to the space of plans. one way to implement this function technically is to let the stewards of the goal manually evaluate different plans. this will soon be impossible performancewise but we will use this technique in the mock up.
we propose diaspora as a candidate social medium.
we will make a mock up of the above, hence we:
1. select a candidate organisation or project to host a pilot
2. publish the pilot’s data into the semantic web and link this data to DEMO
3. the planning tool will be developed in stages, the first stage being completely manual (in guts4roses.org this tool is called search & share)
4. we build the trust layer as we go
in order to describe the economic process in some more detail first we still work from the perspective of people acting according to the blanc aforism.
because everybody shares all his data we have a comprehensive amount of data. all this data is in the semantic web and this data is linked to DEMO which enables tooling to understand the data from an executable perspective. this data in the semantic web is stored locally with redundant copies stored at peers. the social media in diaspora enable users to access and manipulate the data in the semantic web. thus users interact with each other. a typical interaction could look like:
a steward posts his goal: improve education
the tooling envisioned works as follows: as soon as a goal is posted the tooling will start a search in the semantic web for procedures to manifest this goal. if not present (like in the beginning of the tool’s lifespan) the community can add these procedures and the tooling will pick up the new procedures as soon as they get posted, much like a new webpage is indexed by google. once found the tooling will suggest one or more options to alter the existing planning so as to cater for the new goal. each of these options comes with an estimate of the effort needed which can be used for decision making. as procedures are build up out of each other one can start with one goal not yet manifest in the semantic web, add a procedure, depending on existing procedures, that does manifest this goal. the formulation of such a new procedure can be the joint effort of the community.
in our exampe this works as follows: suppose there is no procedure available to improve education. an ad hoc community may emerge that discusses the validity of the goal (this is the awareness process mentioned earlier). such a dialogue may then result in the formulation of more conrete goals for which procedures do exist, eg build and run schools. now producing study material may lack procedures and so we discuss this in it’s turn. until finally one or more planning proposals have been made.
now the steward of the goal can select one of the options. once selected the planning is updated to the new planning just selected by the steward. this will entail the tooling to call DEMO transactions thus supplying jobs to the community members, in other words: setting people to work.
now how to adapt this process to humans? we expect that this questions in reality will see many different answers (basically on top of the tooling introduced above). therefore in the pilot we will make a specific trust layer: we introduce trust circles consisting of members. each circle decides to which extent the members trust each other and how they maintain this trust thus supplying the members with a specific set of CRUD rights.
note that more tooling functionality can work on top of this data, much like the internet offers the possibility to add new funcionality.
[uniting] uniting the sharing economy: guts4roses.org/big-data-is-the-money-of-the-future
[emergence] the theory behind the emergence of the new money system: guts4roses.org/painting-of-the-emergence-of-the-new-money-system