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Polytopia
Kurt Laitner (M)
Edmonton, CA
Immortal since Dec 4, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 5
Stimulus Response Machine
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    klaitner’s project
    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    As I listen to Ruben Blades haunting rendition of Patria, I hear the gratitude he feels to those who have gone before, whose efforts have made the comforts and pleasures we enjoy, and whose labours, inspiration and invention we use in our efforts to improve this world and to contribute our gifts in the most effective way we can.

    Even in this very moment my experience depends not only on those who have come before but on my contemporaries. My gratitude extends to the maker of the glass I sip this magnificent wine from, and of course to the masters who crafted the wine, the labors of the viticulturists, and the labors of the field workers. These craftsmen owe their mastery to intergenerational transfer and accumulation of knowledge. Let us ignore for brevity the computer I write this note on, the network that I send it out over, and those who take the time to read it. The old plum tree is truly boundless.*

    The gifts of previous generations are given without obligation. We are born into a rich ecology of benefits that we rarely acknowledge. We objectify culture, which is deeply subjective, and internalize our successes as merit. We need to take the time to acknowledge the shoulders we stand on.

    More importantly our experience depends on our contemporaries. The value we receive from each other far exceeds the monetary transactions that take place. There is a magnificent generosity in the human spirit, and a complementary desire to reciprocate. The ability to reciprocate and exercise our gifts gives us a place in society and a sense of self worth.

    Memory is unreliable, distributed obligation akin to no obligation, and value generation is not homogenous or symmetrical*. Our obligations are deeply personal and people generally wish to keep them, if only some day, when it becomes possible.

    We lack a system of account that can track at a granular level value produced by each person. With such a system we could without hesitation engage in creating value with and for one another. We could rest assured that our contributions would be remembered, and equally as important, that we would not forget others. The number of cycles currently wasted on ensuring enclosure must be astounding. In fact the effort involved in ensuring we get our just rewards causes some to simply give their gifts freely in order to get on with the business of creating value. For the time being we must eat, so we must encode each partipant's contributions so that they may also draw on others productivity.

    A system of valuation should never require permission to add value.


    A system of valuation should never require permission to add value. It should not require every transaction be balanced. It should not require that one party exclusively exploit all opportunities related to or derived from that value before others can add further value. It should not throw up artificial walls * and should be transparent and inclusive. It should not require people to give up remuneration for the freedom to generate value without navigating a myriad of obstacles. It must track the value added by participants, tracing one value add to the next, so that once a positive outcome reinforces a pathway, benefit can be distributed to all involved in the value creation.

    This fluid value accretion and assignment system requires a rethinking of property. We wish to retain beneficial ownership without restricting society from using value produced in derivative works. We need to replace bespoke contracting and exclusivity with an operating system for property and value exchange that makes one off contracts and the litigation they imply unnecessary. We need to explore value potentials without needing to monetize them in advance. We need to be able to start working together, and have a system to figure out who owns what as we go, rather than trying to predict the present value of future work.

    If we could eliminate effort currently required to ensure we get paid, while still getting 'paid' what we have earned, how much productivity would that open up for us to address value creation? If we could fluidly match the talents and skills of each person with the work most worthy of their attention in real time, how many ways would this be better than the 'job' system we currently use?

    When we remove every obstacle to fluid value generation, we have *net.





    Sat, Oct 30, 2010  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    Crowdsourcing works on the premise that a reward and a challenge are posted, people respond, vote for the best ideas and the "best" idea wins. This is not a new idea. Venture capitalists have for years spoken of the need to hit a "ten-bagger" on one of their deals to pay for the 9 that did not make it. Anyone in the idea business realizes that if you have an idea, chances are a bunch of people have it, and so execution is king.

    These are but three examples of the competitive notion of "first past the post" wins, or winner takes all.

    Not being content to do this at the personal level, corporations compete in this manner but at group scale.

    Any of these market mechanisms may well result in the best idea, though because of gaming of the selection mechanism this is by no means guaranteed.

    Consider, though, the immense waste of resources this represents and wonder with me how the ninety percent of wasted productive capacity may have been used were it not sacrificed to the market.

    Perhaps we need competition to get us out of bed in the morning, to bring out the best within us. Even so is it not better to "fail early and fail often", as is often quipped in the start up business. We need to know we are failing as early as possible and redirect our efforts in line with our talents toward the problem that most deserves our attention.

    Failing individually is less wasteful than failing as a team. While professional sports embrace a variety of talent and this produces a satisfying and viscerally random struggle, if the goal is to play hockey at the highest level we would want to get to the all star or Olympic team as quickly as possible. Also note that the team that wins the Superbowl, World Cup or Stanley Cup is not made up of the best players in the tournament. If we are looking for drama, this inefficiency is acceptable, even beneficial. When we are looking for a cure for cancer this is not acceptable.

    Suppose we came up with a mechanism to get the top players onto one team to conquer the challenge at hand. For easy math lets assume that we still end up with ten percent of our starting population on the winning team. We have an optimized team but still have ninety percent of the population unaccounted for. What are these people doing?

    To follow our example some of them may be working on the number two priority disease. Some may be doing theatre, others coaching and so on. The same system that allows people to fail quickly,as individuals will also select them for the opportunity that best fits their skills and talents.

    This mechanism should also be able to produce the NHL, as it is, for the reasons it is valuable.

    This is *net.



    Fri, Sep 24, 2010  Permanent link

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