Monday, January 31, 2011

Open Source, Money, Wikipedia, and Me

I'm just inviting a new set of people to read my blog, so I want to re-introduce it, and myself, and what I think I am doing here.

Personally, I am one who craves being understood. This is not a very rare type of person, fortunately. I think that "to know me is to love me", and I find that I love other people who think the same about themselves. If you really think that about yourself, it is probably true, as far as I am concerned. So, do let me get to know you, by writing your own blog, or commenting on mine.

Basically, anyone who can write at all at, this point in history, should. The world is crying out for information, and the Internet has given the world an enhanced capability to give and receive it. In the business mindset, this is called "Content Rules". You sell things by [here I will put actual phrasing of online business promotion ideas that I will read in my research.]

There is a huge thirst for ever-better information. Ever more correct, ever more useful - ever more entertaining and titillating(?) "Entertaining and titillating" is what the mainstream media have been sliding toward for years, but what is happening online? When the viewer takes an active role in finding the information he or she wants, is "titillating" still the most effective way of drawing attention? The jury is out on that one. (I'm not trying to claim that porn, itself, doesn't work as a business model; but in other types of informational services, it is not clear that titillation still sells.)

Even if the old model of media consumption and production continues to be successful in the newly-transforming world, now there is the infrastructure to create (for those who want them) reliable, verifiable informational resources. These will cause the best ways of living to become visible, and available to everyone. By "best ways of living," I mean simply the best and most useful examples of everything. Wikipedia is the example of this future. Open Source, co-operative, non-profit. For a good discussion of Wikipedia see this link. (Careful readers might notice that many of the links in this posting point to Wikipedia articles.)

Another informational resource which is soon to come about is Open Money. The old concept of money, is that it is valuable in-and-of-itself, like gold and silver. Nowadays, money is almost purely an artifact of electronic exchange systems.

But the system of electronic exchange (as it has developed), is corrupt. Governments and large corporations (under the control of the now-many multi-billionaires in the world) can and do manipulate all financial markets to their own ends. This manipulation is limited, mainly, by the power struggles within the moneyed elite - not by any government regulation, nor by the working of the markets. (Witness the holdovers from the Bush to the Obama administration - Summers, Geithner, Bernanke...) The US Federal Reserve is increasingly becoming a illegitimate pairing of government power and private interest.

Open Money is an Open Source solution to this problem. Money is issued by a volunteer, self-selected group of people, whose earning from this endeavor are visible to everyone, running a distributed, Open Source integrated system of software. It is the only logical solution. The best thought-out system of open money that I know of so far is Bitcoin.

To sum up, my reasons for blogging are to give people useful information, and to connect people and things that need to be connected. I invite you to start a blog and send me a link, or to comment on my blog. I will be working to add links to blogs and websites I think my readers will find useful, and encourage you to do the same. People are living more and more of their lives online. They will be finding long-term connections, that will be based on trust. A killer-app of the future will probably help you carry out most or all of the transactions of your life with people you know and trust, or are known and trusted by people you trust. Just like in the old days of tiny communities, but better.

Once we have money working for us (instead of being a weapon for dark forces), people will be able to reward useful things, instead of what gets rewarded now.

I probably need to write soon about my pollyanna-ism. I realize I could be very wrong on any of these predictions. So please, comment away. I love critical comments. My pollyanna-ism leads me to expect I will not be bothered by trolls, or that the bulk of my readers will handle them for me. Or, you might just bring me down, so give it a try!

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