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[ox-en] Re: The Future of Un-Money // was "Re: There IS such a thing as peer money"

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Hi Marc,

I think that Bittorrent works best because it recogniwed bandwidth scarcity
even within the context of abundance, but it still seems to me that the
incentive is between the individual and the system, not tit for tat between
individuals; hence the logic is one of managing the commons, rahter than a
gift economy logic ...

To the degree a system moves to the scarcity continuum, it needs management
of the commons to incentive participation and discourage free-riding, to the
degree it moves to real abundance; it needs those less ...

So as you are dealing with physical constraints, such as finite energy, your
research on incentives is more crucial,


On 12/22/08, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi> wrote:

Hi Michael,

I totally appreciate your support and generous help in accomplishing my

I think this discussion is of general usefullness so I'm going to dig
deeper a bit, and see what comes up.

does bittorrent follow the principle: voluntary participation, available
to all: to that degree it is peer to peer, to the degree it does introduce
conditionality it is not; but it tries to use the second in the context of
the first

It tries to use the second in the context of the first, and unfortunately
the first is *not* possible without the second.

So what does it mean that something can only exist in a modified form?

If 5 peers were downloading a given file from 1 peer (and you can have many
such exchanges going at the same time at the ratio of 5 downloading to 1
seeding) then it would not be a "Torrent." It would be a Trickle and would
take much longer, during which the seeding peer is more likely to go off
line. So the whole model becomes dramatically less efficient. In fact,
that's why BitTorrent as a protocol became so wildly popular (because it
enforced sharing of each downloading peer's upstream bandwidth.)

The question becomes idealism vs efficiency (and effectiveness), and a
balance is required.

The context of "tit for tat" is very important. At its most basic level,
tit for tat is "cause and effect" and while much of poetry and beauty is
non-causal, classical physics (the laws governing our physical reality)
is...  Including in that is the laws of thermodynamics. So if I was to build
an energy driven economy that works in the real world (not inside an
arbitrary computer model) with real people (not abstract automatons) I would
have to understand energy and information flows in nature (and hence, the
interest engineers and scientists have taken in thermoeconomics and, for me
personally, the next layer of that is the models of energy
minimization/simulated annealing/self-optimization found in statistical
thermodyanmics) and that is because people, goods and services, and material
basis for the real-world economy (land, mineral mines, water, sun, wind,
etc) are all subject to the laws of nature.

That does not mean that the value of a social P2P theory is less than the
value of a thermodynamic P2P theory. Not at all. The social theory gives
guidance to the model builder but without an understanding of how nature
works, we can wreck havoc on it and/or on ourselves. We are not a closed
system. Nothing is. So we need to understand nature's own way of things not
just the social/ethical ways we espouse. There is really a need to
understand both, not one or the other. That's my opinion.

The last thing I'd want to do is destroy the fish. They're going extinct in
50 years, all species (except the mercury-laden farmed varieties)

The whole idea is to work with nature, but that takes a negotiation between
what man wants (the evolved, conscious man) and how to make it work the
"natural" (or nature cognizant) way.

BitTorrent works the natural way, and by doing so it leverages the power of
natural law (in this case, "you can't create bandwidth from nothing") rather
just the social law (in this case, content as a common pool or the seeding
peer's bandwith as a common pool). Instead it treat's the peers' upstream
bandwidth as a common pool and in doing so it forces every peer to

can it paradoxically enhance the sharing, sometimes it can, but at other
times it can't and produces crowding out effects

but I think the important thing is to see what is primary and secondary

for example, ITQ fishing permits are a market based system but placed in
the context of a commons so that fish cannot be destroyed ..

in the bittorrent case I would argue that the tit for tat is a secondary
incentive, so I agree with you that tit for tat depends on context

all this being said, I fully support what you are trying to achieve, and
hope it will work as this is indeed a very important protocol you are
working on,


I think it is also useful to distinguish sharing from a real commons

On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 6:13 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi> wrote:

I get the part about no "tit for tat" but the most successful P2P model
in practice, i.e. bittorrent/file sharing, forces a tit for tat for
practical reasons (e.g. to make sure every peer downloading a given file is
contributing to the common bandwidth for that file). If there was no tit for
tat the sharing model simply stops working.

In the model I'm working on in order for someone to have more wealth they
have to share some of their money (i.e let others use some their money for
free and the more they share of their money the more money they can make,
without punishing the borrower with interest.) If I was to design it so that
people can get wealthy without sharing their money, i.e. if remove the tit
(sharing money) for tat (making more money, building wealth), then the model
of "the more you share, the more you have" would not exist.

"tit for tat" in itself is not bad. It's a tool. It all depends on how
it's used.

What I'm building is a P2P economic model predicated on the tokenized
exchange of energy, where "the more you share, the more you have" is enabled
by a form of "tit for tat" that does not punish and only rewards.

As far as the family types, as you pointed out, all 7 types may have some
or all of the relationships (per Fisk's definition) but what I'm saying is
that, in a P2P economy, a family can interact with another family through a
single point of contact (e.g. a trading interface) rather than having each
member of the family interact with individual peers out there. It may work
for some families some of the time, as it does in today's society. For
example, the Jones family has a common budget that they use to buy
groceries. Any member of the family can use that budget to buy food items.
If they use a single ID/interface then they will appear as a single peer to
the rest of the network. In some exising non-affluent communities, where
there is a single bread earner the family may have just one account on the
p2p transaction network and so in such a community there may be more family
(as peer) to family (as peer) interactions (for local trading) than
individual peer to individual peer.

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 12:04 PM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:

the family is not a separate structure, there are at least seven
fundamentally different family structures worldwide, if I remember correctly
(according to Emmanuel Todd's landmark book on the topic)

I suggest you read for a
fourfold relational grammar that includes equality matching, authority
ranking, market pricing and communal sharing.

Peer to peer is specifically communal sharing or 'non-reciprocal
exchange' (also called generalized exchange because there is no tit for tat)

Within the family several modalities are possible

- when father gets more: authority ranking

- when you compete for giving a birthday gift to another family member
who gave you one before: equality matching

- when you sell your motorbike as second hand to your sibling: market

- when you selflessly give to your children: communal shareholding

P2P Theory, as I define it, is the study of communal shareholding
dynamics within distributed structures,


On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 2:42 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>wrote:

Then that makes the case that "Peer To Peer" is a universal but
non-trivial social theory that has many facets and that is not one theory
but several...

I understand that there is no easy way back to "family" in the old
sense of the word and that "family" is now a group of people who have shared
affinity to each other or certain ideals (e.g. the P2P and Open Source

Yet, someone can still argue a return to the traditional genetic
family, which is still very alive and well in non-Westernized societies, and
by doing so they'd emphasize Family structure over the more modern P2P
structure with its evolved theories. I happen to dig P2P theories and want
to challenge them at the same time, by borrowing analogies and simulations
from statistical thermodynamics (as applied to the self-governance and
evolution of P2P systems) which is something I started thinking about while
working on the P2P currency model, which by the way is predicated on the
tokenized exchange of energy, per the laws of thermodynamics, and what I was
saying earlier re: Un-Money is that non-tokenized exchange of energy is the
closest thing we can get to as far as removing the concept of money. Prior
to the laws of thermodynamics people were interested in perpetual motion
machines and "free energy" etc. These ideas are creeping back into current
thinking on free culture. To me, p2p theory is subject to the laws of
physics because it has real world usage. It's not merely a social theory.

I don't want to go too far too soon with that thought, especially not
before reading/understanding all the amazing work that has been done,
including yours.


On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 2:16 AM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:


peer to peer does not exclude/disrupt the family,

but rather than a return to premodern holism, it is based on
affinity-based aggregation around common value, on top of other existing
relational modes,

but it is indeed built on the positive achievements of western
invidiualism, while also an attempt to rectify its many weaknesses through
alternative voluntary relationality

see for more extensive
investigation of these aspects,


On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 6:51 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>wrote:

The idea is to disrupt the disruptor so like surface of the ocean our
common vision is in constant renewal.

Along these lines, I could make up the argument that P2P is too much
abou the individual and not abou the Family. So based on this I would
proceed to say that Family2Family would be a more socially fit
paradigm than peer to peer, where peer refers predominantly to a
single individual.

Where Centralized is Parent2Child, we have moved too fast to
individualism and forgot about the social importance of family.

Disrupting the disruptive model allows the model to be in a constant
state of renewal.

So what I'm saying is that I don't have to use the word peer in an
unorthodox way to disrupt the existing P2P theory. I can offer
theory such as Family2Family.

But all change is good as long as we all derive meaning from it, as
you sated.

On 12/19/08, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004> wrote:

I personally do not object to your usage of peer money, as long as
we know
what is meant, which is why I tried to clear the conceptual place.

Neither my own p2p theory nor oekonux has any monopoly on the
"peer" term,
but as you know understand, in our frame, it is somewhat
contradictary, but
while Stefan only accepts capitalist money in the transition, I
call for
support efforts to change the current monetary protocols ...


On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:48 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>

Some of you did not see this reply (came empty?), so I'm taking
opportunity to send you a fuller version of it.


Thanks Michel.

Per your articulation of "peer informed money" vs. the ideal "p2p
I now get where Stefan is coming from with his statement that
there is no
such thing as "peer money" ...

Indeed, labels are often used for convenience and commonality, so
of proliferating and splintering ad infinitum we tend to use
e.g. peer money, to refer to a common context, even where a new
label (in
this case: peer informed money) would be more accurate.

The case for standardized labeling is if we were to label the same
a map using different names then chances are people will have a
hard time
following us to our common destination.

I'm going out on a limb here in saying that the penultimate
money (or "un-money") for the ideal p2p society would be
natural energy transfer as opposed to capturing and transferring
forms of energy (e.g. work energy, creative energy, emotional
energy, 'intentional' energy, etc) as "tokens"

I agree that as we drive toward the same destination, we should
not "dead
end" certain lanes of the highway so that only a few of us would
make it
the destination. All lanes should remain open and the various
exits on
way labeled in a standard way.

And I agree that we have to recognize when we're on the road vs
arrived at our destination. For now, we're definitely still on the
the concept of "no money, "which is basically moving away from
energy transfer, e.g. I pay $1 for a bus ride, to non-tokenized
transfer, e.g. the bus is powered by the energy of its passengers,
we will ultimately end up with, IMO, but we don't have the
technology yet
for such universal, non-tokenized, natural energy transfer. By
"energy" I
mean all forms (work energy, creative energy, emotional energy,
'intentional' energy, mental energy, spiritual energy, i.e.
"energy in
its forms")

In other words, the natural flow on energy in its all forms
is the ultimate "un-money"

I may add an addendum explaining non-tokenized energy transfer,
which to
me, would make the ultimate "un-money" but it's so far out that it
only serve the most forward looking individuals, and only on a
level, so it may end up in an article on its own, separate from
the ideas
for the near future expressed in the P2P Social


On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 12:10 AM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:

I would just like to clarify something, about the concept of
taking into account's Stefan's critique

First of all, I agree with Stefan that peer production should
used to moneyless processes involving voluntary contributions
availability of the resulting common value.

In this sense, peer money is contradictory.

However, at present, peer to peer dynamics exist within a
dominated by market (and state) processes, and it is of
interest to
producers that the context in which it operates is as close as
the non-alienating values of p2p.

Thus it is legimate that it is our wish to move towards a
society and context, at least until such time as a presumable
society would exist, in which even lots of physical resources
be produced and distributed in such a way.

I think it is crucial to think about such distinctions, between
and peer-informed money and processes, the latter not being a
in terms

(however, there remains a theoretical possibility of peer
money: if
were some unconditional way to reward peer producers, with some
value that were usable outside the peer production process
could probably be characterized as peer money?)

So, one of the questions is then, how to reform the market

A crucial aspect of this reform is to reform/transform the
to arrive at a peer-informed monetary system. This involves
built-in infinite growth protocol of existing capitalist money,
money and finances with value-sensitive designs.

Otherwise we arrive at the, in my opinion, absurd position of
basically says: until such time as we have a peer to peer
society, we
happy to let capitalist money be, 'because it's all money

Such a position is similar as the one saying: fascism and the
welfare state are all manifestations of bourgeois society,
there the
anyway, so  we don't choose one over the other.

No, they are not the same, and neither are the current system
financial meltdown, and alternative value-conscious,
systems that have totally different results for social and

So, in this sense, a project like Marc's called peer money for
sake, is totally legitimate and important,


On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 6:30 AM, marc fawzi <

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Hi Stephan, Michel, Sam, others,

I tend to see Stefan's argument that there is no such thing
as "peer
is a case of one person's operative reality versus that of
not a
case of discourse within a globally or locally shared

Here is the latest draft of the P2P Currency model I've been

(with simplified arguments and clearer construction)

And here is a particularly interesting endorsement
the shared reality I'm working within, from a European based
Google Credit, a project that is in the running for the
(see Article of the Year Award on right hand side under
video). I
relation to them and did not know they exist up till a few
days ago.

There are many others who have the same operative reality as
or in part, when it comes to the peer money and peer credit.

I'm working on game design that would energetically align
realities with my own, i.e. to create a locally shared
reality by
people's perceptions through imagination.

Iff money, not just peer money, can be derived and used more
then there is nothing in my (and other people's) operative
its existence. In fact, it's existence is demanded in such
because of pragmatism (and knowledge of the current maturity
of man,
of) and partly because such new money would enable society to
take a
qualitivate step in the right direction.

I hope this enables further discussion.




*From: Stefan Merten* <smerten> Reply-To:
To: list-en
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Hash: SHA1

Hi list!

Sorry for being so quiet but - as usual - the conference
eats up a lot of my free time / energy.

The following is something I promised Michel to do. It has
triggered by the use of the term "peer money" which I think
is a
contradiction in terms. This is an attempt to give reasons
why I
that money and peer production are generally in

Having said that I should also say that they can walk
together for
some time but according to germ form theory that is no
to the contradiction thesis. But one should keep in mind that
to use
money for peer production projects is always a twisted
because of that contradiction.

The approach below is based on comparing features of money
and peer
production. In that it is also a contribution to further
define peer

* Structural force vs. volunteering

 Money is a structural force used to force your will onto
 This is exactly what we call buying - though it doesn't
sound so
 nice. If you would not need to force others to do something
 you) you don't need to pay them.

 Compared to direct force like violence money is a structural
 because it is indirect. As such it needs a societal
framework to be
 effective at all: Payment makes no sense unless the payee
can buy
 something himself.

 Peer production on the other hand is largely based on
 Volunteering, however, is the exact opposite of being forced
to do
 something. Someone volunteers for a task because it is own
wish to
 do something. In fact the volunteering is a central feature

* Scarcity vs. ampleness

 Money is based on scarcity. In fact in a way it encodes
scarcity as
 a societal concept to a so-called real abstraction. In fact
 which is not scarce in some way simply makes no sense. If I
 allowed to create arbitrary amounts of money at every time
 should I require the money of others at all?

 Peer production on the other hand is based on ampleness of
 product. All examples we found so far for peer production
are based
 on ampleness (which is simpler to have in the digital
world). In
 fact ampleness of the product is the typical goal of peer

* Force needed to keep vs. built-in sustainability

 I said that money encodes scarcity as a general principle of
 society. However, money being an abstraction is not scarce
 - everybody can print more dollars. Thus scarcity must be
 by some external means. Typically this is done by the state.
 effect each money system needs a forceful super-structure to

 Peer production on the other hand is based on a built-in
 sustainability. A peer production project is not based on
 abstract principle but on the need for / want of a perfect
 for a problem. It needs no external means to keep a peer
 project up. All the power comes from within.

* Abstract vs. concrete

 One of the central features of money is that it is abstract.
 is not related to any concrete thing - which you easily
 when you look at the global flow of money compared to the
 flow of goods.

 Peer production projects on the other hand are always
concrete. The
 goals are concrete and the effort spent is for concrete

* Reduction vs. multi-facet perspective

 Money is always a reduction - which is in fact the central
 of an abstraction. The result is that huge bunches of
 aspects are projected into a number.

 In peer production projects on the other hand a multi-facet
 perspective is the rule. Though at some times decisions need
to be
 made which prefer one possible way over an other possible
way these
 decisions are made by a complex consideration of many

* Exchange value orientation vs. use value orientation

 Money based production is based on a orientation on exchange
 You produce because you want to exchange your product for
 product itself does not matter to you and it is totally
 to produce relative quality and relative use.

 In peer production projects on the other hand the very
reason of a
 project is producing use value. Why should a peer production
 at all otherwise?

* Alienation vs. Selbstentfaltung

 While money is based on alienation from things and humans
 production is based on Selbstentfaltung of humans - which is
 opposite of alienation.

* Immorality included vs. no immorality

 Money as an alienated principle can be used to to immoral
things -
 like waging wars. This is something we all know and bemoan
 often than not.

 Peer production on the other hand is based on volunteering
 nobody volunteers for goals which s/he finds immoral.

I'll stop here looking forward to responses and further



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Contact: projekt

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at;
interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

 The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

 The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

 The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

[2 text/html]
Contact: projekt

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