In transcending economy isn’t the virtual the long term core of economy?
I think what motivates this question for me is the sense that Safenet/Safecoin or similar approaches must be secondary or must kow tow to the established state backed currencies or will by necessity and general agreement be marginalized bit players or experiments. That such approaches will now fall to the state tax collection systems or SOPA - PIPA type efforts. After all, certain actors would gladly destroy or subvert the internet to restore the status quo and recover from likes of E-Mule. It look like they are doing it, but I don’t think that matters, the counter example has been set by efforts like emule. Funny that emule reminded us of the power of real community and common interest.
Presumably we will one day have more efficient access to energy and even get more efficient at energy to matter conversion. Presumably true scarcities will always be larger i.e., real property, agro/energy, transport. But to begin with the virtual offers something that looks more like the reality we will be in if we solve our physical problems.
Virtual economies do not have to be scarcity based and hence not really economic. The tragedy of the commons is an excuse, generally a bogey man- the commons is the goal. We don’t have to kill excitement and all incentive with a commons. And what is not limited does not have to be rationed. If we are to live sustainably it must one day be possible to allow people to pursue atrophy or growth and needs and wants in the absence of artificial scarcity. Our highest goal cannot be serving the desire of some people to tell other people what to do. Also we don’t have to create challenges we have a huge residual challenge from playing the power imbalance game for so long. People don’t know other ways and we have a huge challenge in addressing overrun resources and cumulative damage.
The virtual realm is possibly the best basis for a guaranteed annual income (this wouldn’t be an artificial rationing.) It could take the form of open access to everything with end user controlled incentive through system generated income permanently granted to every end user to be primarily spent on micro contribution for future works. It would be just one input and probably thought of as more like a vote. But it would also be a substantial resource transfer meant to drive activities. Here end users would add substantially or have the primary input on the efforts of who best served their interests without strings attached and without conflicts of interest and this would most directly apply to key virtual drivers like education, communication, information, entertainment. This could be the basis for a lasting highest common denominator for of security and quality of life that kept power the the stable base.
We do not want to automate enclosure. That would be the tyranny of the data base. Its no coincidence that one of the first uses of the database was in the concentration camps. This technology can be used to train volition out of the human apparatus. The vocabulary we have is a vocabulary that isn’t working. For instance the internet was amazing. The internet needs to function for a bit longer but is past tense. Its been doomed by our vocabulary of enclosure. When we say business we aren’t doing much more than applying the tools and techniques of animal husbandry to other human beings. Its CAFO type stuff. We say we don’t like planned economies but every economy has been planned and generally based on preserving the deepest and most blatant conflicts of interest so much so that we are numb to them. We don’t like censorship but we revel in the most destructive and recalcitrant from by basing our system both politically and economically on sponsorship. We don’t like gossip about individuals but we are proposing individual tracking systems that reproduce the financial gossip and enclosure known as the credit system and to the point of exile now as if that were an improvement. As we attempt to automate planned economy we are thinking of contract “formalized enclosure-lock in- anti neutrality- the glue of centralization”
We don’t want the cage. What we’ve had is imprisoning lip service. “You have freedom what more could you want?” Its not enough to say its impractical or utopian to want to be free of money, markets, states and contract. We were free of the tools of enclosure and centralization for most of human history and sufficient on 4 hrs of labor per day outside the nest in communities of 100 or so working in face to face cooperation. The actual question is whether technology itself demands imprisoning tools of crowd control. Its survival at this point and its obvious that technology does not demand these approaches. Progress is getting rid of them by finding sensible replacements. We need systems that are stable and don’t erase quality of life and any basis for human rights.