Successful web conferencing systems, for example, weave together an evolving tapestry of information streams, some of which stay relevant for years."
they help create valuable community capital--a lasting resource for everyone to appreciate. "
The government issues capital in exchange for a promise to pay it back with interest.
We then compete over this always-diminishing resource.
Some propose that we use the government to help with redistributing the wealth. Unfortunately, if we use only debt-based currency, there'll always be a scarcity of money.
Since (to quote Bernard Lietaer) 'Money is information about how we exchange energy',
we need to enable people to exchange the value they create without worrying about the scarcity of a centrally-issued measurement."
Information doesn't need to be scarce to be accurate.
Likewise, money doesn't have to be scarce to measure value;
only when it also stores value are we compelled to compete for it. "
With today's technology, we could create an international nonprofit organization to clear local currencies and therefore
"The presence of even non-bank-generated credit (which may take the form of e-cash) does not directly limit the Fed's power to inflate,
since the Fed can still expand the dollar supply by open market purchases of government securities.
This can further debase the purchasing power of ALL dollar- denominated claims.
Stuff we throw in, comes around; that which is sucked out is most likely gone."
I don't just care about local people - I also care about my childrens' childrens' children (none yet born), and about trees, who don't seem to give a damn about me, and about international and inter-community harmony. I care about the weather.
The essence of a LETSystem is that it tends to generate positive social behaviours amongst its users. If makes it possible for us to deal equitably with all sorts of people. In my own little world and system, there are plenty of people that I don't "care" about, nor want to care about. I wouldn't trust them for a second in a situation where they might rip me off--and I don't have to.
You don't have to care - it is only necessary that we ACT AS THOUGH we do, and that's the behaviour that a mutual credit system develops in its users. So act now, then you will be able to care as much as you choose, later, if you like.
"Healthy economies depend on the vitality of small communities, just as healthy lungs depend on the vigor of tiny air sacs which form them.
Dollars will thus be strengthened when backed by energetic local currency communities, rather than by the depletion of natural resources and social decay."
"Market values have driven out other values, discouraging collaboration and participation,
not because people have become more mean-spirited,
but because our tool to measure value (money) also--unnecessarily--stores value, and therefore is made artificially scarce.
When information (money) is scarce, participation can't be measured; and if it's not measured, it can't be exchanged--so work doesn't get done.
When customized information is abundant, we're better able to measure real scarcities and abundances, and better able to collaborate.
--like Austin, TX; Ithaca, NY; Fremont, WA; Lyon, France; Portland, ME; Grass Valley, CA; and many others--
with the help of new communications technologies, have discovered that
by circumventing the scarcity of money (information), they can conserve local resources, encourage employment, and build social ties.
Open societies and markets will thrive when we harness today's collaborative technologies to encourage fuller social, economic, and political participation."
"How, and to what extent, can local and virtual communities create and bind policies for their participants?
How can interactive technologies enhance social and economic transactions?
Can self-regulating ('free') markets reflect in their 'prices' ecological value based on real scarcities and abundances in the long-term?
I don't have any answers, but I am encouraged by some community projects I've heard about recently, particularly the experimental currencies some cities and 'virtual communities' have developed to match up excess supply with unmet demands.
These communities, without relying on interest-bearing national currencies or inflating their own currencies, have helped participants exchange their skills and products in the marketplace.
Anyone interested in the future of money is invited to explore a new free online conference devoted to bringing money systems 'Beyond Greed and Scarcity'; it's accessible from http://www.transaction.net/web/conf/confintro.html."
people will feel freer to exchange their gifts with each other. "
With the interactive information technologies available today, we can transform the worlds of work, money, and governance so that
all policymakers have the freshest, fastest wellspring of ideas to draw from and
all productive activities are measured, compensated, and (most importantly) encouraged."
"MAKING THE MOST OF COLLABORATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
New money systems are emerging to catch up with the new ways people are exchanging value and the new networks where they're doing it.
Our mission is to use new communications tools to help develop Industrial Age factory-style practices
(jobs, schools, governments, publications, and currencies)
into more responsive, conscious, efficient, sustainable policies:
For example, vibrant market ecologies:
"The expanded access to information provided through the web",
"is making markets more efficient, so more (and more satisfying) transactions will take place."
Some human enterprises haven't kept pace with our new tools, and a few seem at times like stubborn relics from an age when assembly-line mass production was state-of-the-art.
Many communities with plenty of talented, energetic people are suffering from unemployment, social isolation, and the degradation of living species and their habitat.
Because they have to rely on loan-based currency from the federal government, each exchange spirals them further into debt.
Just imagine if each transaction in these struggling communities conserved local resources instead of leaking interest-- people in a community would no longer hoard currency
(hoarding chills employment and corrodes the social bonds that develop in gift- or wealth-based economies)
for the sake of the interest, but instead trade their time, expertise, and extra property freely with other people.
No longer would clearcutting a forest (to earn interest on the money) make more business sense than cultivating live trees (and relying on liquid money only when necessary).
Yes, it's perfectly legal, and has proven effective too:
Citizens in over 1000 communities have built on this idea,
supplementing national currency with their own interest-free non-inflationary on- or offline currencies,
and watched unemployment yield to "favor economies" or "remunerated leisure" while social ties grow stronger.
When our money (information) system measures all our exchanges without losing value (meaning), more people will be able to choose a niche and contribute to their communities--making all of us better off.
Everyone will be able to document or verify a transaction, and to negotiate payments as they please;
more work will get done;
and quality of life will improve.
Just as our money should be able to measure unlimited exchanges, our policymaking tools should be able to handle an unlimited number of good ideas at once--and they should also help policymakers efficiently evaluate and execute those ideas.
Imagine your elected officials immersing themselves in a public online forum where they can report on their activities and respond immediately to their constituents.
Here in San Francisco, Mayor Willie Brown entered just such a forum in October of 1996, and in the course of just one hour was met with abundant praise, questions, criticism, and policy suggestions.
There's no reason all officials couldn't draw on this kind of resource every day.
We're inspired by these successes, and offer our space as another community-building "medium of exchange". We hope it generates some ripples of value throughout the entire community.
humanity catches up with its own inventions:
'Once we're all fluent in our new technologies, we'll be better able to express our most elegant wishes, and all of us will harvest the results.'"
IT'S ALL ABOUT FLOW
"As we investigate the future of money, information, work, technology, and education, we consciously balance 'solid' information with 'fluid' mobility and access, and a few relationships become apparent:
Energy, measured by money, should flow efficiently like the web.
Information focuses energy and conserves money.
'Money is information about the way we exchange energy' (Bernard Lietaer).
The web conducts information and conserves energy.
Technology focuses energy according to information.
By attending to elements (people and resources) and forces (energy, money, information) in our communities, we can free up potential energies in ourselves, our money systems, and our technological tools."