In this talk to the Global Exchange Gathering last week, I show how the competition between timebanking platforms is a result of the software structures, and how even if different platforms can't share code, the can still service their users by becoming more interoperable.
The talk was very well received perhaps because I spent the previous five days in reconnaissance, and thus was able to say what this audience needed to hear.
Living the New Economy is a major event slated for Oakland, California October 23-26.
LNE Oakland is designed to be different from any event you’ve attended before. Drawing inspiration from hackathons, conferences, networking events, festivals, and jams, the result is a unique event that has components of each. More than a conference, this is a convergence.
The first two days will be provide opportunities for you to “hear about thriving New Economy projects, identify gaps and opportunities, and find out how you can plug into the New Economy on a personal level.” During the second two days the New Economy principles will be explored and “participants will collaborate in teams to develop a business idea, program, art project, or anything that supports the transition to a New Economy.”
Get tickets NOW to receive substantial early bird discounts available until August 15. Register and get tickets here.
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I will be giving a free presentation in Tucson on August 18 to show local small businesses how to create liquidity based on their own capacity to produce desired goods and services.
Details can be found at: https://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014-tucson-flyer-local.pdf
Even if you don’t live anywhere near Tucson, I’m sure this will be of interest to many in your network so please help to get the word out. Our communities cannot afford to be complacent. We need new creative approaches to economic development, and locally controlled exchange alternatives are a key requirement to future prosperity, resilience, and a sustainable world.
This presentation will be recorded and made available on this website following the event.
Thomas H. Greco
There is much misunderstanding about the proper basis for issuing currency, especially with regard to somehow limiting the issuance to ensure that the issuers are not over-empowered and the currency tending to worthlessness. With Bitcoin we have a new expression in our vocabulary, 'proof of work'. This too is often misunderstood to mean that work provably done merits a currency reward, but if that were the case the amount of Bitcoin couldn't be fixed.
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, LaRouchite, or consider yourself apolitical, you need to pay attention to what is happening on the money and banking front, because that is the realm in which World War III is now being fought.
We can’t afford to tune out messengers that wear a different party label or with whom we might disagree on other issues. Listen carefully to what Ron Paul has to say in this Alex Jones interview and use your common sense to separate the “wheat from the chaff.”
Swiss nonprofit Community Forge was founded in the aftermath of the 2008 banking implosion. The first mission statement was about giving communities the tools they needed, most especially the monetary tools, to become more independent and resilient. Tim Anderson, from the LETS in Geneva, had teamed up with Matthew Slater, a software developer to build a community web portal and accounting tool suitable for LETS.
- From Visby to Bisbee
- Website improvements, slide shows, and videos
- My upcoming events
- Ecuador leading the way toward a “Commons Economy”
- Kalikalos Summer School/Vacation.
- Bitcoin—the currency and the technology
- J. W. Smith and the Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide
- More lessons in global economics, finance, and internet access
From Visby to Bisbee
Last year around this time I was in Visby, on the island of Gotland in Sweden where I was privileged to be able to attend the annual Almedalen event, an exciting convergence that brings together a wide variety of business people, politicians, academics, grassroots activists and ordinary folks for several days of presentations, discussions, and festivities.
This year I’m in Bisbee, Arizona, a former mining town turned artist’s mecca and tourist destination where I have the use of a comfortable house while my friends who own it summer in New England. Bisbee is located in Cochise county which is in the southeastern corner of Arizona, close to the Mexican border. I’ve gradually been adjusting to small town living and finding it to my liking. At five thousand feet elevation, the climate is pleasant—not too hot, and the summer monsoons have provided abundant rains over the past couple weeks. The ocotillo plants, which most of the time look like clumps of dead sticks splayed out toward the sky, are now covered with lush green leaves and tipped with red blossom tassels. _____________________________________________________
Website improvements, slide shows, and videos
The slower pace of small town Arizona has given me the opportunity to focus much of my energy and attention on consolidating the considerable body of work that I have built up over the past three decades, work that has taken a variety of forms—articles, books, websites, presentations, and interviews. Thanks to modern technologies, much of this work has been recorded and thus can be made readily available to present and future generations. I’ve spent a lot of time going back over my accumulated material—reworking and updating it, finding ways to make it more accessible, and in some cases, publishing it for the first time. I’m proving (to myself at least) that an old dog can learn new tricks, and I’ve been having a fun doing it.
I’ve been using Power Point for several years but up to this point had not tried to learn more than its basic functions, nor had I made much of an effort to learn how to edit audio and video files. With the acquisition of Power Point 2010, which has some powerful new features, plus some new found motivation on my part, I’m now beginning to master it along with audio editing software like WavePad and Audacity (both are free). Together, these tools are enabling me to create videos of reasonably good quality from many of my Power Point presentations that have been recorded over the years. I am posting these for viewing on my Vimeo channel at https://vimeo.com/tomazg/videos.
One of my best presentations, A New Paradigm in Exchange and Finance: The pathway to peace, justice, freedom, and a dignified life for all, was delivered at the Public Banking Institute conference in Philadelphia in 2012. I’ve made a video of that slide show presentation, which you can view at https://vimeo.com/100765695.
I’ve also done some work on my YouTube channel. I’ve sought out and collected materials in which I am featured. You can find these in my YouTube playlist labeled, My presentations and Interviews.
These links are also provided in a new menu button labeled, My Videos and Sites, that I’ve added at the top of the home page on my website http://beyondmoney.net/. That button also brings up links to my other sites.
As you explore my sites, please let me know if you find any broken links, errors, or other problems. You can reach me at email@example.com.
My upcoming events
I’ve been invited by the Sunbelt World Trade Association to give a presentation in Tucson on Monday, August 18. This presentation will describe how local businesses can create local liquidity on the basis of their own production and collaborative credit, thereby reducing their dependence on bank borrowing and protecting the local economy from the ill effects of national and global monetary policies (Details at http://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/2014-tucson-flyer-063014.pdf). If there is sufficient interest, I may follow that up with a workshop covering the issues that need to be addressed in preparing to launch a complementary community currency for southeastern Arizona.
In October, I’ll be going to the San Francisco Bay area. I will present at Living the New Economy conference in Oakland, October 23-26 (http://www.bayareaneweconomy.org/), being organized by the people at Bay Bucks, a complementary currency and trade exchange for the SF Bay Area. Their banner reads: “We help local businesses cut costs, increase revenue and in the process, build local resilience.”
Ecuador leading the way toward a “Commons Economy”
In 2013, the government of Ecuador embarked upon a program to rethink the fundamentals of its economy and plan its transition to a free and open knowledge society. Friend and colleague, Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation was engaged to lead a ten month process of research and discussion.
David Bollier has provided a good overview of the project and a progress report in his magazine On The Commons.
Kalikalos Summer School/Vacation
If you’re in the market for a European vacation combined with an educational and community-building experience, you must check out Kalikalos Summer School where you can experience “Alternative holistic holidays on Mt Pelion above the sea.” Their three campuses are all in close proximity to one another in one of the most beautiful parts of Greece. This short video will give a good idea of what to expect.
Bitcoin—the currency and the technology
The story of Bitcoin goes way beyond alternative currency. As a “virtual commodity,” Bitcoin represents a step backward toward a more primitive form of currency, but the “block chain” technology that Bitcoin uses has far reaching applicability. An interesting article that speaks to that point appeared in The Telegraph (UK). Titled, The coming digital anarchy, the lead-in to the article reads, “Bitcoin is giving banks a run for their money. Now the same technology threatens to eradicate social networks, stock markets, even national governments. Are we heading towards an anarchic future where centralised power of any kind will dissolve?”
An interesting counterpoint to that one is Matthew Slater’s excellent article, What happens after the crypto-revolution?
And the nerds among us would do well to read Marc Andreesen’s New York Times article, Why Bitcoin Matters. Andreesen has invested almost $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. He begins by painting this picture:
“A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.
Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.
On the other hand, technologists – nerds – are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.”
J. W. Smith and the Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide
The Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide (ICCW) is the latest project of J.W. Smith, a long-time scholar and advocate of economic democracy, who has been writing on “full and equal rights economics” for many decades. I’ve know J.W. for many years and have a high regard for his work. I first became aware of him from reading his book, The Worlds Wasted Wealth. Now in his eighties, J.W. is still going strong and making a difference. His latest book is Periphery of Empire is Free: Empire’s Citizens Soon Will Be Free, which is being offered as an e-book at the bargain price of $5.50, along with books by William Kotke, Alanna Hartzok, and others.
The ICCW seeks to publish e-books by authors who share this full and equal rights philosophy. See their “creative commons” page. For responses and questions you can contact Dr. J.W. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 623-875-4624 .
More lessons in global economics, finance, and internet access
Whenever you need to take a short break from whatever you’re doing, Clarke and Dawe’s video can provide you with some deep insights about the global financial crisis, with a few chuckles thrown in.
Wishing you a pleasant summer,
Sieben Linden (Seven Linden trees) sits amongst forests, fields and sparsley populated villages in the plains of Northern Germany.
The land is owned by a cooperative in which all members buy a stake. There are a few large straw-bale houses which are designed for a family and several friends and guests, while half the members live in 'temporary' caravans waiting for the money and the people to come together for subsequent houses. Where would this money come from?
The ecovillage economy tour is an open experiment in data collection. The intention is to build a picture of the overall ecovillage economy so see what business or exchange opportunities might emerge.
We want to build a payments ecosystem so that community currency entrepreneurs can pick up appropriate components and make them work together quickly thus concentrating their resources on developing their Unique Sales Proposition. We want marketplace entrepreneurs and community currencies to be able to choose between Ripple, OpenMoney, and Cyclos for their transaction storage, and to know that these choices will not prevent them from intertrading. They need to be able to re-use existing mobile payments apps rather than write their own.
Bitcoin may disintermediate banks, but that will not change the economy, save the environment or make society fairer. One peaceful way to prevent our governments driving us to collective suicide is to get behind a new generation of P2P credit projects.
Try to imagine what your life would be like if you had no bank account, no credit or debit cards, and no cash, and on top of that, you lived in a country where poverty, crime, and corruption were rampant. I’ve never been there, but by many reports Kenya is just such a place. How do people cope?
As in other places, like India and Thailand, that I have visited, it seems that the majority of people in Kenya are micro-entrepreneurs who eke out a living by producing and selling products or services of some sort. And, like everywhere else, having a means for exchanging those goods and services and “paying” each other is crucial to survival.
Ultimately, as private currencies and moneyless exchange mechanism proliferate, we all will have numerous payment options. The Bangla-Pesa project operating near Mombasa is one such model that is now being replicated in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya. But even technologies that only provide new ways of paying with national currencies are proving to be beneficial in many ways.
Kenya’s Safaricom company has led the world in implementing phone-to-phone payments with the M-pesa. All it takes is a text message from the buyer’s phone to the seller’s phone to make a payment. Almost everyone in Kenya has access to mobile phone service and they may draw cash from their accounts at any of the 45,000 independent agents scattered around the country.
A recent Business Week article documents the ubiquity of this payment mechanism and its positive effects in such diverse areas as security, renewable energy, crowdfunding, and economic development . You can read it here: Ten Days in Kenya With No Cash, Only a Phone.
When mobile phone payment systems include complementary currency options, the beneficial effects will be multiplied manifold. — t.h.g.
Amalurra, Basque for 'mother earth', was formed from a meditation group with life-coach Irene Goikolea over 20 years ago. Wanting to take their practice further, they bought an old seminary and oriented their lives around making it beautiful and offering hospitality. Fast forward to now, and there are several gleaming buildings, including a hotel, hostel, spa, cafe, restaurant, many spaces for meetings and workshops, a sweat-lodge next to a stream and extensive gardens.
- Colleagues doing great work
- Upcoming Conference
- The Buddhist way—Principles to live by
- Psychiatry running amok
- Flight MH370
I do some of my best thinking when I’m on the move—in a bus, a train, a plane (though perhaps not in a Thai minivan). I can’t help but wonder if this might be due to a physical phenomenon of “induced creativity” akin to the electromagnet induction of electricity that occurs when a coil of wire is moved through a magnetic field. Could it be that “creative energy” is induced when an idle brain is moved through the Earth’s magnetic field or through a monotonous landscape? Far out, eh?
Colleagues doing great work
* The NGO, Koru Kenya, headed by American social entrepreneur and aid worker, Will Ruddick, which I’ve written about before, is now undertaking, with support from the Kenyan government, a program to replicate their successful Bangla-Pesa community currency program in other poor areas around Mumbasa and Nairobi. This is one of the most promising projects I know of that demonstrates how local liquidity can be created by producers themselves to facilitate trading amongst them. See my May 4 post about the project , and please help to support it financially by donating even a small amount via their Indiegogo Crowd Funding site.
* Our friend and associate, Michel Bauwens, who is founder and director of the Peer to Peer Foundation, has been engaged by the government of Ecuador to head an effort to plan the transition to a commons based peer-to-peer economy and shared-knowledge society. The project is known by its acronym, FLOK (which derives from the words free, libre, open, knowledge). Bauwens has just announced the publication of the “integrated Commons Transition Plan” which can be seen at https://floksociety.co-ment.com/text/xMHsm6YpVgI/view/. Bauwens recently explained the FLOK transition project at an Integral Theory Conference. You can see it here.
* In 2012, Professor Jem Bendell was appointed to head the newly formed Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at Cumbria University in the U.K. His inaugural lecture, Exploring Sustainability, given in April of this year was both interesting and enlightening. It is well worth watching at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-Opqi-2UgY.
Chong Kee Tan and his Bay Bucks team are in the process of organizing a major “new economy convergence” titled, Living the New Economy, to be held in San Francisco October 23—26. I will be one of the keynote speakers, along with Charles Eisenstein and Ian MacKenzie. For details and to register, visit this site.
The Buddhist way—Principles to live by
I often receive useful input from my correspondents via email. One that came to me recently was a list of life principles referred to as “The Buddhist Way.” I immediately posted it on my blog at https://tomazgreco.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/the-buddhist-way-principles-to-live-by/ , and intend to tack it up on my wall so that I may keep the principles always in mind.
Psychiatry running amok
A few nights ago I went to a showing of a documentary film titled, The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda, a film of the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. I was astounded to learn, among other things, the extent of suicides and domestic violence amongst our military personnel, and the scale and scope of the their drugging by psychiatric staff both during and after their active duty service. Our troops have been virtual guinea pigs for psychiatric drugs that have questionable benefit and horrendous side effects.
The showing, sponsored by Veterans for Peace, highlighted some startling facts about psychiatry in the military:
- The shootings at Fort Hood and the Washington Navy Yard are linked to psychiatric drugs.
- 22 veterans are committing suicide every day.
- In 2012 more active duty soldiers died from suicide than were killed in battle.
- A questionnaire used to screen military personnel for depression and PTSD is copyrighted by Pfizer, who manufactures the antidepressant Zoloft and other psychiatric drugs.
- 85% of military suicides had never seen combat.
- More than 60% of suicides in the military were taking antidepressants or recently undergoing outpatient psychiatric treatment.
- The antipsychotic drug, Seroquel, is referred to by soldiers and veterans as “serokill” because of its implication in cases of cardiac arrest and sudden deaths.
The showing was followed by a Q and A session during which many veterans described their own personal experience with psychiatric drugs that were prescribed based only on brief interviews and descriptions of symptoms, not a very scientific approach to treatment, in my view. In many cases, multiple drugs are prescribed even though no scientific testing has been done to determine possible interactions among them. I urge everyone to read the information and view the video here.
While news of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has faded from the headlines the mystery remains, and the failure to find one shred of physical evidence that the plane crashed into the ocean, adds to the plausibility of explanations other than the official ones.
No less a figure than Mahathir bin Mohamad, who served for 22 years as Malaysia’s Prime Minister, has accused the CIA and the Boeing Company of hiding key information. The May 19 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald reported as follows:
One of the most influential figures in Malaysia’s ruling party claims information about flight MH370 is being hidden and the Australian-led search for the plane off Western Australia is a waste of time and money.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said the plane’s disappearance on March 8 was “most likely not an ordinary crash after fuel was exhausted”.
“The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS [Malaysia Airlines] markings,” he said. “It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for pings from the black box.”
“Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that MAS and Malaysia should take the blame,” he wrote.
Dr Mahathir suggested the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency had knowledge of the disappearance of the plane with 239 people on board but was not sharing it with Malaysia.
He also claimed that Boeing, the plane’s maker, and “certain” government agencies, have the ability to remotely take over control of commercial airliners such as the missing Boeing 777. [emphasis added-t.h.g.]
“For some reason, the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA,” he said.
Further, a number of articles compiled by Intellihub report that:
1. Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has accused Malaysian officials of withholding evidence.
2. ‘Hijacked flight 370 passenger sent photo from hidden iPhone tracing back to secret U.S. military base Diego Garcia’.
3. One of the passengers, Philip Wood, sent a text message saying “I have been held hostage by unknown military personal after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded). I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”
What a strange world we live in.
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There's been much attention, in the alternative media at least, around Amir Taaki and the Dark Wallet project which aims to make using bitcoin more anonymous. Taaki argues, quite properly, that regulating Bitcoin is squandering the founder's legacy and neutering the opportunity that technology gives us to create a really free market.
Perched on one of the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the Basque region, Lakabe was a tiny deserted village of 7 houses re-inhabited 34 years ago by a handful idealists fleeing the city life. There was no road, and no rooves on the houses, very little money for redevelopment, and certainly no tenure. Now there are 50 people, a bakery, a sustainable pine forest, and the village is 'official' although the property can neither be bought by the residents nor sold by the local government.