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ThatBritGuy:

In this example I'm finding it hard to imagine people checking their depreciating, loss-adjusted, baby-bank balances for suitable credits before picking up the phone.

Any scheme which needs a spreadsheet to decide whether or not someone can afford a babysitter is baroque, surely?

The scheme in the example has just the same issue does it not? A balance is a balance. Every system other than a gift economy needs a spreadsheet. What has changed is the rules that apply to balances, and (possibly) the behaviour that follows the change in the rules.

At the moment the rules/protocols that comprise the legal and financial structure or enterprise model we use are such that sociopathic behaviour - 'profit maximisation', limited liability, fixed returns and compounding interest - which is hard-wired into the system. Most people are brainwashed by the dominant narrative and simply internalise any discomfort they may have, even if they think about it at all.

I believe that the collaborative model I observe emerging is doing so because, like any emergent phenomenon,'it works'. In a partnership-based model it is in people's interests to co-operate rather than to compete etc etc.

I am sure rafts of academic studies have been done on this, but for my own part I am happier co-operating and being open than to do otherwise, and so the solutions I identify 'go with the grain' for me at least.

It is my thesis that Ethical is in fact Optimal, and that we will find that those who do not use a collaborative enterprise model will be at a disadvantage to those who do. There's only one way of proving that this is the case, and that's by testing the thesis in practice, which is what I am doing. It seems to me that a great many other people are testing alternatives too, now that the conventional model is breaking down :-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 05:08:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The conventional model is an emergent phenomenon.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 05:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct.

And the conventional model is fucked.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But 'it works'?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 09:35:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
like any emergent phenomenon,'it works'
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't do what you want it to, but it's still there...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:28:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emergence is a dynamic process: as is decomposition.

The reason collaborative models are emerging IMHO is that the conventional model - which is 'emerged' rather than 'emergent' - has ceased to work.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:33:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
The scheme in the example has just the same issue does it not? A balance is a balance. Every system other than a gift economy needs a spreadsheet. What has changed is the rules that apply to balances, and (possibly) the behaviour that follows the change in the rules.

It depends on who has to have the spreedsheet. By issuing physical tokens with a staable value, the users has a very easy way of estimating their holdings. Someone (the cashier/the bank) probably has a spreedsheet to avoid counterfeiting. (And that informational disbalance allows financial tricks and thus theft.)

But a system that demands a spreedsheet per user for the user to understand the value of his or her assets is probably to complex for baby-sitting. The value of time spent understanding the system does not appear proportional to what is won. The idea that everyone can hold perfect information is another of those ideas that give a cover for tricks. Information costs time to acquire and if it does not appear to give an equal amount of time back it will not be acquired.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
But a system that demands a spreedsheet per user for the user to understand the value of his or her assets is probably to complex for baby-sitting. The value of time spent understanding the system does not appear proportional to what is won.

That's not what is proposed. A user would see an available balance on his mobile rather than on a piece of paper.

That's it.

He doesn't need to see how the sausage is made: but he could have more confidence that the sausage is edible.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No  but what's proposed is a system where people 'can't afford' a baby sitter, even though there may be other people sitting at home doing nothing, who would be willing if asked.

What does the system add that (say) a simple needs/can/will online message board doesn't?

It's not security, because people can still default or abuse the system. It's not increased accessibility, because that can be done in other ways. It's not maximal resource utilisation, as above.

What's the benefit?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:04:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
No  but what's proposed is a system where people 'can't afford' a baby sitter, even though there may be other people sitting at home doing nothing, who would be willing if asked.

I'm not sure where you get that from?

Any member can get a baby sitter from the group any time simply by finding someone willing to baby sit and then issuing a Baby Hour credit to them afterwards. If the Baby Sit service user has a credit balance it's reduced by x Baby Hours or, if not, their balance goes x Baby Hours further into debit. This is fine, provided they are within their 'guarantee limit' - ie they haven't piled up an excessive debit balance by not doing at least some baby sitting.

ThatBritGuy:

What does the system add that (say) a simple needs/can/will online message board doesn't?

It's not security, because people can still default or abuse the system.

The system does indeed add security because the system 'Pool' of Baby Hours shares the costs of defaults - eg when a member leaves with a big debit balance - across the members collectively. I set out elsewhere on the thread how that works. People being people, defaults will happen, but I think that the system proposed above is superior to the conventional one in sharing the risk without unnecessary rentier profits.

If people abuse the system then after a while they'll find no counter-parties willing to baby sit for them, or have them to baby sit as the case may be. Someone I know who runs commercial barter systems told me how one of his members complained he couldn't find any counterparties willing to deal with him. My colleague pointed out to him that this may have had something to do with the way he fulfilled transactions, because no-one else had the same problem.  

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
This is fine, provided they are within their 'guarantee limit' - ie they haven't piled up an excessive debit balance by not doing at least some baby sitting.

That's where I'm getting that from.

The obvious - to me, anyway - flaw in your system is that when someone defaults, everyone else's balances shrinks, potentially pushing them into a situation where they can't afford to 'pay' for a baby sitter.

ChrisCook:

If people abuse the system then after a while they'll find no counter-parties willing to baby sit for them, or have them to baby sit as the case may be.

So why not just create an hours balance on the message board? It doesn't need a spreadsheet, just some basic adding up. Even monthly accounts for paper scrip would do - as long as you tell people not to hoard it.

People can see who's freeloading, and act accordingly, in one of those rare economic situations where there's a chance they may actually behave like rational actors.

Of course, some people may still choose to baby sit for freeloaders, perhaps because they're bored, they enjoy it, it's no real hassle if the freeloaders are willing to drop off and pick up, or for some other social reason.

That's impossible with your system - at least beyond a certain point.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 01:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
The obvious - to me, anyway - flaw in your system is that when someone defaults, everyone else's balances shrinks,

Not so.

The balance in the "Pool" (owned in Common) should absorb any loss. What this means is that there may then be a reduced Baby Hour dividend (referred to upthread) to members for a while as the Pool rebuilds.

ThatBritGuy:

So why not just create an hours balance on the message board? It doesn't need a spreadsheet, just some basic adding up. Even monthly accounts for paper scrip would do - as long as you tell people not to hoard it.

Such a registry and transparency is exactly what I advocate for the oil market and of course, also in this case.

ThatBritGuy:

Of course, some people may still choose to baby sit for freeloaders, perhaps because they're bored, they enjoy it, it's no real hassle if the freeloaders are willing to drop off and pick up, or for some other social reason.

That's impossible with your system - at least beyond a certain point.

That is not the case. There is no reason why there should not be 'over the counter' dealings between members which are not settled in Baby Hours within the system: it's a matter of choice.

Babysitting may be done gratis or maybe in exchange for something else entirely in both cases without troubling the system at all. Or even both inside and outside the system eg by settlement in Baby Hours plus a couple of beers....

There is no exclusivity to the system: it's a complementary currency. You appear to be assuming restrictions which may be customary in a conventional system but which are not the case here.

Btw thanks for keeping going on this TBG - there is no better way of testing a model than addressing the issues raised.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 02:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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