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Quantified Prestige – Short Introduction

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(Michael Hrenka) #1

First of all a short blurb:

Quantified Prestige is a reputation economy system invented by Michael Hrenka. The REPDEV Network aims at creating a global reputation economic ecosystem based on QP.

This category is used for all topics directly related to QP and to the REPDEV Network.There are a couple of introductory blog posts on QP at http://radivis.com/tag/quantified-prestige/
Version 0.03 of the QP documentation is available at http://radivis.com/public/quantifiedprestige003.pdf

I’ve copied this thread from a thread on the old Social Future Forum:

Quantified Prestige is the name of the reputation economy system that I’ve developed a couple of years ago. A full documentation is available under http://radivis.com/public/quantifiedprestige003.pdf. In short, it is a system based on one or more peer-to-peer networks in which registered users can allocate points to each other. The amount of points that a user gets from other users determines how much “Prestige” said user has. This “Prestige” is a quantified reputation index which mainly indicates how popular and esteemed a user is in that network. Basically, Quantified Prestige is a system that can be used to rewards people for all kinds of good behaviour. Which that broad application in mind, it is quite universally applicable.

However, the initial motivation for creating such a system was to solve the problem of artificial scarcity of digital goods. Digital goods like software, web pages, digitalized books, articles, genetic codes, pictures, music, patents, and so on have the property that they can be copied and distributed for virtually zero (marginal) cost. Our current economic paradigm is ill equipped to handle the potential abundance that this unusual property of digital goods would offer. Instead, artificial scarcity in the form of copyrights, patents, and intellectual property rights is introduced in order to provide incentives for the production of digital goods. While this modus of incentivization does work, it forces digital goods into an artificial market model, rather than to leverage the potential abundance that their almost free distribution would represent to the world at large.

Using a reputation economy to incentivize the creation of digital goods would be an economically far superior mode of production (at least in the sense of the economy at large – not necessarily for the individual creators or providers of digital goods). This is in part due to the general availability of the best digital goods around. Everyone can use the best digital goods to produce even better digital goods. Such positive feedback loops are largely absent in the current economic paradigm, although they can be observed in the free and open source software communities, for example.

Quantified Prestige can be used to establish a reputation economy. The “Prestige” reputation index is only the first step to that purpose. To get a full fledged reputation economy, this reputation index needs to be coupled with some on of currency. While it would be possible to create funds in currencies like US-dollar, Euro, Yen, Yuan, or even cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin, there is a different possibility which is much better adapted to reputation systems: Introducing a completely new currency called Fluido which is absolutely designed to fit to the Quantified Prestige reputation system. Fluido is directly created by Prestige for each individual user. It’s as if each user had her own Fluido printing press which printed Fluido in a speed proportional to her Prestige index!

In order to prevent monetary inflation of Fluido, there is an automatic mechanism that destroys a certain amount of Fluido over time (5% annually as default). Such demurrage schemes were proposed by the followers of the economist Silvio Gesell. The main problem that demurrage suffers from is simply that money that loses value over time through partial self-destruction is less attractive than money that doesn’t do that! So, to increase the attractiveness of Fluido, its self-destruction, or “evaporation” as I prefer to call it, only applied to amounts that are beyond a specific threshold. This threshold actually depends on the Prestige index of the user possessing the Fluido – as side-effect increasing the importance and attractiveness of Prestige! So, the value of Fluido can remain stable while also remaining attractive to people who don’t want to hoard Fluido.

More information about Quantified Prestige is available on my blog posts on QP.

My plans for the future include creating a stand-alone demo version of QP on radivis.com, as well as including QP into the software of this forum. Because I don’t have much programming experience, and because health issues diminish my productivity, it can be hardly foreseen when these attempts will come to fruition. Support from others (yes, I am looking at you ;)) would accelerate the process of enriching the world with Quantified Prestige.

P.S.: What problems could this system solve?

  • Absence of an abundance of digital goods.

  • This absence means an effectively lower economic output, contributing to scarcity, and thus poverty. It also slows down economic and technological progress.

  • QP could reduce poverty further in conjunction with a basic income.

  • QP could help to discourage socially and ecologically problematic behaviours of companies. “Good” companies could be rewarded with high reputation indices, while “bad” companies would have low reputation indices, or none at all, representing a very real economic disadvantage to them.

  • There may be other issues that could be affected by QP, but it’s often not clear how they would be affected. The points above should be clear enough.


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About the Quantified Prestige category
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(João Luz) #2

I think quantified prestige is a great system but I don’t see the need to introduce a new currency.

It would make sense if we were to replace all our economic system with QP but I think people would accept it more easily if we (at least in an initial phase) used QP just to compensate the producers of digital goods. And for that it would be batter if prestige could be changed for regular currency.


(Michael Hrenka) #3

If you allow the to exchange money for Prestige, then that means that people can actually buy Prestige. That would ruin its value as democratic reputation index! Also, selling Prestige directly would create all kinds of problems:

  • How does Prestige get regenerated?
  • If you sell a lot of Prestige and then someone also redirects his Esteem Points away from you, you get a negative Prestige index. That would be quite nasty.
  • If you sell your Prestige, should that mean that people like you less?
  • Would it even be ethical to buy or sell Prestige?

Problems like these made me think about coupling the Prestige index with a currency. The Fluido currency that I have developed is adjusted pretty nicely to the reputation economy setting and has some pretty nice and unique features. With what other currency can you have both a really continuous income and set up really continuous flows of money? And it has built-in mechanisms against deflation and inflation!

QP can be used to compensate producers of digital goods by both creating a good reputation for them through the Prestige index, but also through the creation of an actual income in some kind of currency coupled to Prestige (whether that’s dollars, bitcoins, or Fluido). That doesn’t mean that QP couldn’t be used to reward the production of non-digital goods or services. It’s just that QP is a rather ideal solution for the digital goods economy and an interesting add-on for the rest of the economy.


(João Luz) #4

OK, now I get why you don’t want to use money.

I haven’t read your full PDF yet so I don’t know exactly how Fluido would work. All I know is what was posted here an in your blog.

When I have the time, I’ll check out the document and then I’ll let you know what I think.

Anyway, I know there are no perfect systems and QP seem to solve a lot of problems, so I think it’s important to keep discussing it.


(Michael Hrenka) #5

Yes, it’s necessary to at least skim the full PDF in order to get a solid understanding of what QP actually is (and isn’t). It’s a system with a relatively high degree of complexity, but that complexity is necessary to make the system workable and convenient in its use. Unfortunately, it also means that it’s hard to explain QP in sufficient detail in a single post.

I need to work on the next version of the QP documentation. Its current form has a few mistakes in it, and I’ve made some interesting changes in the meantime.

Certainly, QP will have its fair share of problems, but there can be addressed effectively once a working version is actually out there in order to test the system.


(Michael Hrenka) #6

(Guillermo Valle) #7

Hey, I wonder if you’ve heard of Ethereum: http://ethereum.org/ and intro video:

It seems to me that it could be a great platform to try to implement QP and a reputation economy. They are basically making a software framework for any decenetralized web software that uses blockchain, so that it allows you to write software “contracts” for a particular blockchain network that say how value is distributed around the network. I don’t know more details than that, but it sounds that if QP could be programmed in their framework, you may have what you want


(Michael Hrenka) #8

Thanks, guillefix. Indeed, I have heard about Ethereum since its early days and always considered implementing QP on that platform. Nevertheless, I haven’t researched yet how feasible that would be. There might be problems with that approach that would make it into a less than ideal solution. One thing that I don’t like is the dependency on the cryptofuel “Ether”, though I understand that a mechanism like that is more or less necessary to keep the system viable.

Anyway, I’d be glad if there were any experts on Ethereum who have an idea how to implement QP on Ethereum. I guess I should seek out contact with them soon. There’s a forum and a Reddit for Ethereum.


(Ken Carroll) #9

Hi Michael,

I’ve just discovered Ethereum - was wondering if you had managed to learn since this last post.

Ken


(Michael Hrenka) #10

Thanks for your interest, Ken. When it comes to Ethereum, I’m still waiting for its official release before I finally decide how suitable it would be as platform for the development of QP. I feel a bit reluctant to invest a lot of time and energy into a service that isn’t actually fully available, yet.


(Dil Green) #11

Cory Doctorow uses a similar idea of a complex, single metric reputation economy in his book - ‘Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom’.
He later wrote about why this would be a Bad Thing.
All of this and more, plus a proposal for Reputationflowers -

something that could represent a reputation as a more holistic thing, is discussed here: https://digital-anthropology.me/2017/04/15/trust-aggregation-reputation-economies-and-privacy/


(Michael Hrenka) #12

My system Quantified Prestige is the result of me thinking about how a reputation economy could actually be made to work. I’ve commented on Cory Doctorow’s statement about Whuffie being a Bad Thing and what Quantified Prestige has to do with it here:

Also, Quantified Prestige is intended to enable multi-dimensional reputation scores, either via multiple different reputation networks, or via different Prestige Scores within one reputation network. That would also enable the generation of data that could be visualized vie reputation flowers. Great idea, by the way!