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Gift Economy Registry Website
Tagged: gift, gift economy
August 29, 2014 at 1:20 pm #2354
One of the opportunities that the Internet has presented humanity is the opportunity to scale that old reputation-based, gift economy to the entire world. In 1900, when most of the world still lived in small villages around the globe, it was common for people to enter into gift relationships with each other. These gift relationships formed social bonds and built community. It also allowed for most people in the town to know each other’s reputation and general willingness to participate in the gift economy. In this regard, the more you gave, the higher social status you might have in the community and your security rested in the gratitude from those to whom you gave.
In today’s mass consumer society, our reputation has been replaced by our credit score and our security by our bank account and what we can buy. This has torn apart the community that once existed and we are left isolated and far unhappier despite the additional material wealth. The problem in scaling that gift economy was because we only could realistically know a few hundred people. In a city with millions, it would be impossible to track, until now.
Today, the Internet can help scale that gift economy to mass society by tracking our online participation and reputation. The community will then be able to recognize both the quantity and the quality of your gifts.
The purpose of this project is to create a web database that anyone can register their gift based business. People could search this database for what they need and find someone in their locality willing to enter into a gift relationship. Its important to remember than “gifts” are not synonymous with “free.” This distinction would certainly need to be made clear. A general guiding principles document would need to be created and agreed to by all who registered their product or service.
The idea here is to foster a shift in values in our economic arrangements, moving away from self-maximizing behavior towards community-enhancing behavior. Please leave your comments below to signal your interest in being a part of this future Sustainable Human project.
August 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm #2361
I think this is a cool idea, one I would love to be apart of. I have had a similar idea for a while now for a new currency called SCredits. It would work similar to bit coin, but the the supply of coins to be mined would not be determined by an algorithm, Instead it would be determined by sustainable input. I don’t know if I have all the details worked out, but I would love to brainstorm with someone around this.
Basically, you have an entity that accepts submissions for sustainability projects. When a project is accepted the value in $ of that project is converted into SCredits and deposited into a supply pool. The conversion rate would be $1 = 1SC to start out, but supply and demand would eventually dictate the exchange rate. This pool of coins could then be mined by individual users and traded amongst each other in exchange for goods and services. This way, as the demand for the currency grows, so does the demand for sustainable projects, and growing the money supply makes a direct sustainable investment in the planet.
September 11, 2014 at 3:30 am #2407
Hi Chris – would love to be a part of this. I continue to believe that suitably modified (add in global guaranteed basic income, remove interest) money will continue to have a part to play – if we look at Totnes for example it has introduced its own money http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totnes_pound, which backs peoples promises and gifts. Unless we are step back to really small local communities it becomes really hard to create the supply chains of a modern economy via gifting I suspect. However very keen to be a part of it and explore it and will put my own gifts on the table as discussed and see what gives. Perhaps money supplies basic needs, and then the extras come via the gifting economy? This to some extent is similar to the “London Olympics” experience.
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