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Re: [ox-en] Re: transition from slavery to feudalism, mirror for transition from capitalism to peer society

Hi Gregers,

I would imagine that if such a shift indeed comes to
pass, and that open design communities are the primary
engines of social life, then it is the ability to
contribute them that will be the key recognized
variable, and that society will find ways, through
'wealth acknowledgement systems', and other
trust/reputation based engines, to recognize such
forms of value


I imagine that there will be the basic income as key
counter-stream by the market to recognize the value of
social innovation, but on top of that, in the ethical
economy sphere, there will be additional systems to 
recognize contributions

As for your remarks on markets, David Laibman calls
the early markets 'primitive ritualized markets' so
indeed, it seems that they could be explained
differently, since there is no price setting in the
modern sense


This is interesting as well:

Why you should not pay for non-reciprocal peer

A contribution by Evan Prodromou, who heads Wikitravel

"In the world of commercial wikis, the idea is often
floated that all contributors should be paid for their
efforts. I think this is a bad idea for a number of
reasons. I've outlined them below.

1. Payment as disincentive. In his interesting book
Freakonomics, economist Steven Levitt describes some
counterintuitive facts about payment. One of the most
interesting is that charging people who do the wrong
thing often causes them to do it more, and paying
people to do the right thing causes them to do it

The best wiki editing is done by people who believe in
an important and powerful cause. As so many Open
Content wikis show, people will move mountains to
achieve a noble purpose. If you mix in money, you've
instead changed the main motivation to $$$. You direct
people _away_ from any noble purpose you have, and
instead towards grubbing for dollars. What kind of
people, and work, will you get out of that?

2. Low payment a disincentive. When people work for a
noble purpose, they are told that their work is highly
valued. When people work for $0.75/hour, they are told
that their work is very low-valued. Which kind of work
do you want to do?

3. Legalities. Speaking of payment: if you engage in
an employment relationship with unknown, self-selected
people from any country in the world, for any amount
of money, you're going to have to fight your way
through labour laws and tax issues all the way to

4. Market economics. If you have open content, I can
copy your content to another wiki, not pay people, and
still make money. So by paying contributors, you're
pricing yourself out of the market.

You don't have to pay people to do what they want to
do anyways. The labour cost for leisure activities is
$0. And nobody is going to work on a wiki doing things
they don't want to do.

5. No fair system. There's simply no fair, automated
and auditable way to divvy up the money. If you do it
by character count, you leave out all the people who
engage in discussions, improve content by editing and
thus deleting characters, or make hugely important
changes with just a few characters. If you do it by
number of edits (or non-rolled-back edits), you judge
tiny and insignificant edits equal to large,
well-thought-out and very productive edits.

Decisions about the relative value of different
contributors to an article is too complicated to do
automatically. But if you have a subjective system --
have a human being evaluate contributions to an
article and portion out payments -- it will be subject
to constant challenges, endless debates, and a lot of
community frustration.

6. Gaming the system. People are really smart. If
there's money to be made, they'll figure out how to
game your payment system to get more money than they
actually deserve. They'll use long -- no,
lengthogonous -- words pointlessly to jack up their
word count. They'll set up robots to twiddle
out-of-the-way pages. They'll work on "hot" pages to
get more share of the higher profits, ignoring
low-volume pages that need a lot of work.

You'll end up in an antagonistic relationship with
your users, rather than a cooperative one. They'll be
trying to get as much money out of you as possible,
and you'll be trying to give as little as you can to
them -- or at least only get them to work on what you

7. Paying for friends. If you can't convince people
that working on your project is worth their unpaid
time, then there's probably something wrong with your
project. People are going to be able to sense that --
it's going to look like a cover-up, something sleazy.

If you think you need to pay people to work on your
wiki, then you're doing something wrong. Instead of
trying to force your users to align with your business
interests, by paying them, you should re-align your
business interests to be more in tune with what
potential contributors want and need. You shouldn't
have to pay for friends, and you shouldn't have to pay
for wiki contributors."
Alternative Options to direct payment

Evan Prodromou:

"Why should we work on this wiki if you make money off
of it?" The facile answer, "We'll pay you to work on
the wiki," is unworkable. So what other options are

The important thing to remember about this question is
that it's not really what people want to know. They
want to know, "Why should we trust you to be the
steward of our work?" and "Aren't your motivations
different from ours?" and "Are we being duped into
working for free by an evil, manipulative entity?"
There are a lot of other ways to answer these
questions and reassure your contributors of your
company's good faith.

    * Be Open. If you have an Open Content wiki, then
anyone can make money off of the work there. Let your
users know that they're welcome to use the content,
just like anyone else, to make extra dough. Encourage
creative re-use of the work, for commercial or
non-commercial purposes. The more that contributors
understand that the work they do belongs to the whole
of humanity, and not just your company, the more
likely they are to participate. 

    * Donate. Set aside a good part of the profits
from the site (if there are any...) to donations to
related charities. Donations to Creative Commons, the
Free Software Foundation, and Wikimedia Foundation are
probably all good candidates. There may also be
domain-specific charities you can contribute to; if
you have a site about pets, say, you could contribute
to the Animal Rescue Network. 

    * Sponsor. There are a number of wiki-related
events that happen each year: RecentChangesCamp,
Wikimania, and WikiSym. They could all use
sponsorship. Your users will appreciate your
association with these events. wikiHow has done a
great job with this. 

    * Thank-you gifts. If you'd like to reward
contributors for work on the wiki, consider giving
thank-you gifts instead. "You've done a great job over
the last few months -- can I send you a WikiWhatever
T-shirt?" Other possible gifts would be
gift-certificates for online bookstores or sponsored
(or partially-sponsored) trips to wiki conferences.
It's important not to make the gifts seem like payment
: "You have reached level 4 of WikiWhatever
contributor status after 1000 hours of work, and we
are sending you a coffee mug." Thank-you gifts should
be in the spirit of the BarnStar. 

    * Hire from the community. If you've got really,
really good people working on your site, and you want
them to continue, hire them. Wikia does a really good
job of hiring active users. 

    * Pay bounties. This is an option that's worked
well in the Open Source community. Companies will
often pay a developer to implement a feature, fix a
bug or build a plugin in an open source project that
wouldn't otherwise be a priority. If there's a job
that needs to be done on your wiki, and the community
isn't interested in doing it, offer a bounty to get it
done. (Wikipedia has a loose system for third-party
bounties that end up as donations to the Wikimedia
Foundation, or rewards that go directly to the


--- Gregers Petersen <gp.ioa> wrote:

Hi Michel

Michael Bauwens wrote:

however, in david laibman's deep history (which I
strongly recommend I read), after his overview of
anthropological literature:

"markets have been known throughout all recorded
history, there are no known cultures without any

"...all recorded history.." is in this respect a
very important part of
the argument.
Who's is doing the recording and what are they
interested in recording?

Back to an earlier point in this discussion --> If
you look for a market
you will find a market, which to me is not the same
as there is a market.

I'm an anthropologist and I'm not willing to argue
the point that
markets have always existed and that they exist in
all cultures - and
this discussion reminds me to much of all the year
other anthropologists
have spend "discusssing" if shells and stone are
'money' (until they
decided that they are objects of a different nature
- and quickly left
the subject).

It's much more interesting to talk about value - in
respect to talking
about 'values' (in the plural); what it the primary
value of the society
you'r imagining?


Gregers Petersen
Anthropologist, Ph.d fellow
Department of Organization
Copenhagen Business School
Kilen, Kilevej 14A, 4.
DK - 2000 Frederiksberg
(+45) 3815 2811
Skype: gregers.ioa
Jabber: glp
IRC: Look for 'glp'

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