This entry was first posted in June 2011
Robin Upton is creating an internet gift economy and researches Altruism which he combines with the so-called “Altruistic Economy”. He is a consultant and researcher born in 1970. Here are some of his ideas and insights. It is by no means conclusive and he says about his theories that they are a model and not yet fully worked out.
Traditional economics assumes that people are highly informed, rational, selfish, lazy, greedy, amoral,
they ask: “What is in it for me!” Therefore people want more by doing less. In a way that is how businesses work. Shareholders who do not work at all in the Business they give money to get the most out of other peoples hard work. But people are not 100 % like that they do care for their families for example and want a better life for them. But to get that they have to work with the system. Without money, you can not buy anything or get a good education for your children. The money system is a top-down system: Central banks create money on computers and distribute downwards through governments, employers, banks etc.
The banks earn e.g. through loans that people have to pay back with more money than they borrowed
so many get into more debt. But the few on top earn more and more. The actual world income situation shows that. The gap between poor and middle-class earners and rich people gets bigger and bigger (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/21/business/main4535488.shtml).
A new idea of economy is that of a Grassroots Economy. Altruistic Economy is based on the ideas of Grassroot Economy and is people-centred and personal in nature but global in reach. It expresses people’s need to care for each other. In pre-money societies, it was important what people think of you. Meaning: if you help the family or tribe it is remembered and gives you a good reputation, therefore, people will help you as well. This kind of relationship gets more complicated if there are more than 150 people that you interact with as you can only maintain direct relationships with about 150 people (Dunbar’s number). A key thought in Altruistic Economy is though: there is no limit to peoples indirect connections (see Facebook’s friends of friends) with the help of the internet.
In Altruistic economy, it is important what you contribute as it gives you a good reputation and therefore you get more help or connections as it worked in pre-money societies. E-bay’s Sellers reputation ratings have shown that this works well. In everyday life, we also often chose companies or garages for example that our friends have good experiences with. This seems to work a lot better than advertising for example as advertising focuses on making money not on giving you good value.
The idea is to express a need on the internet: maybe you need a nanny. On the other hand, you are good at repairing cars. There would be a board that connects peoples needs. The nanny who needs her car repaired takes care of your children and has her car repaired. If both do a good job you give a good rating on that board and both of you get more jobs or goods. Even though identity theft is an issue they say it is more transparent than the actual system of centralised money as the interactions are more direct so you get the information about the person you deal with directly and not via any maybe manipulated media.
Altruistic Economy is also: “an information
network. It does not give power to anyone, but gives everyone a chance to
express their feelings about what goes on in the world. Once viable software is
developed, a strong network effect means that personal recommendation will spread
it very quickly, using the increasingly availabile mobile internet access“.
This is just a short insight in the idea of Altruistic Economy. For more in-dept information see: http://www.altruists.org/
http://www.altruists.org/ideas/economics/altruistic/ and their downloads (What is wrong with money)
This video was made in 2008 and shows a vision of 2018 🙂
Video Credit: KnowledgeWorks via YouTube
Die manche links dieses Eintrages sind in englischer Sprache