Re: [ox-en] There is no such thing like "peer money"
- From: CTVN <coreteam vodes.net>
- Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 12:59:31 +0200
hello Michel, Sam, Christian & others,
i'm summarizing a couple of points from different postings that i want to
In our case however, the donator is not in charge of choosing where the
In case of free software/Linux, it seems that the large contributors,
such as IBM, which pays 2,000+ of such programmers if I understood
correctly, does not insist ondirecting their work in a classic way.
i dont think we are too far away from each other. i dont advocate that the
donator is completely free to choose where the money goes, but that (s)he
should have a list of (voding) options. you have a "to-do" list directing
investment of time and knowledge by core developers basically set by the
community; why not having a "to-do" list for the community (set by the
developer) which allows each individual to fund the project which is in
his/her best interest?
For me, it is very important that governance safeguards are in place to
avoid any degeneration of p2p projects.
I notice for example, that the foundations do not give power according to
donations, but simple, one entity gets one vote, so that no single
corporation can determine the strategic direction of the project.
absolutely agreed. i think the governance safeguards that are in place
here are ensuring that (finally some use for my legal studies) :)
Also, we should remember that profit-sharing schemes do crowd out
im not advocating profit-sharing (an association/foundation normally is
not allowed to distribute profits to members), but reasonable payment for
tasks someone does for the community. profit sharing does not require
investment of time and knowedlge for the payout, task payment does
Also, these paid leaders/committers/maintainers cannot give orders to
the voluntary contributors.
how do you define "giving orders"?
i think we agree that some kind of prescribing
directions (like "to-do" lists) is essential - otherwise its very
inefficient investment of time and knowledge. see also (Sun person
speaking about "directed self interest”
but even at a more detailed implementation level of a specific project,
there can occur problems without command and control (note that im not
saying the traditional command and control mechanism is the way to go):
example: last week we had an mexican food day with a focus on authentic
recipes and made to a large extent with fair trade products. authenticity
was a key "selling argument" (there is only one tex-mex restaurant in
graz) and very attractive to people.
unfortunately, the mexican cook wasnt available that day (btw, if we had
paid, he most likely would have been there) so we prepared a couple of
things the day before the mexican way. on the dinner day, we had
a really good professional (austrian) cook who volunteered and took over -
understandably, he wanted to "selbstentfalt" himself and gave some
austrian touch to this. while it
tasted good, it lost lots of "authenticity"'.
how do you cope with such
situations where the selbstentfaltung of a key individual directly
contradicts the interest of the community absent some kind of command and
control? i dont think its gonna be the rule, but it'll occur enough to
mention it and think about it
whether money, 'by itself', has problematic aspects ..
i think one of the key problems with money is its "(dis-) traction"
property (dont know if Stefan means this with"alienation"). i.e. to focus
on making more money rather than on task fulfillment. one way we address
this is to specifically include quality as a multiplicand in the reward
formula (reward (CV) = time (LV) * knowledge (IV-xyz) * quality (q) ; with
values ranging from 0.5 to 2
(directly halving or doubling the reward) of the responsible contributor.
example: at the mexican food day each participant was given a form to
evaluate the food (or knowledge investment of cooking; IV-cook),
decoration (IV-dec), organisation (IV-org) etc. all 33 particiapted filled
in the sheet. the average grade for the food was 1.6; thus, the factor q
= 1.6 for all people who did tasks with IV-cook.
The goal here is to help people and projects who are developing open
licensed to prosper as much as possible in existing money-driven human
ecologies. The goal is to help them to *outcompete* existing non-open
licensed traditional businesses so that many people will choose them as a
provider of services or products.
I try to tell people that if we focus on making something really, really
good, that people really
want, there is no way we *won't* be able to somehow match it up with
money. So, as long as you are making things that people really want, you
won't have to worry about/focus on money.
True and I absolutely agree with the goals; unfortunately, one problem is
that quality has much to do with talent and lots of (talented) people are
attracted by money (this is just the way it is and personally im not
blaming them given the society we are living in). there is a (very?)
limited number of people who are able to provide high quality works on a
sustainable basis; there is also lots of money outthere to “lure” those
people spend their creativity and time in exchange for money; closely
related, there is also lots of money available to push the creations of
those few to people (advertising). So, its not gonna be easy outcompete
them on quality. :)
they are "weighted higher", i.e. if you decide to perform an unpopular
task, you have to do less of it than when you perform a popular task.
its a rational solution, but ironically, from the angle of "free will" vn
is closer to selbstentfaltung than your model as we dont require x hours
to be spend into the project, but we rather ask how much time one wants to
invest and subsequently record this investment.
Also, the weighted task system does not take actual demand for tasks into
consideration (what if only 2 hours of cleaning are required, but 4 hours
of writing code) unless you say "5 hours cleaning or less depending what
is needed". but as demand for those tasks will vary considerably from
project to project, the actual weighing numbers will be pretty pointless
imv (unless you introduce some kind of book keeping allowing for ensuring
an approximate adherence to the weighing over a longer time frame; but i
always thought one of the key advantages of selbstentfaltung models is the
lack of accounting)
also, it will be difficult to come up with a “fair” (how many hours of
this, and that) task weighing model for the variety of tasks that are
necessary (bar tendering,cooking, cleaning, writing code). Btw, we are
facing a similar issue here (how much is one hour cooking worth; how much
one hour cleaning up). I think grouping tasks and letting stakeholder
decide on the most important ones is a viable and just solution.
Anyways, i dont know to what extent you are interested in looking at a
more or less working (in alpha stage), real world application of a
similiar project which
involves money; in case you do, in particular with respect to the task
classification (IV-xyz) you might want to check page 3 at
(listing different types of tasks with respect to organisation of events)
Contact: projekt oekonux.de