Being incentivised to do something, and being able to actually do it, are two different things.
Having a stronger incentive can make people work harder to achieve their goals, though.
Money is by far not the only incentive , and not the most effective one, either. Intrinsic motivation, and reputation are often stronger.
What incentive do users have to use proprietary reputation systems rather than open ones?
Yes, garbage in, garbage out. That’s why it’s important to create systems in which users start creating very good data in the first place. Or you filter out bad data, whenever it crops up. That of course requires time, money, or a big bureaucracy. The better way is to design the incentives of the reputation system so that everyone is incentivised to create the best data possible. Currently existing reputation systems don’t work like that, but QP does. In QP, the voting power of people is scarce, so they need to actually think about whom they give reputation. Unfortunately, this mechanism makes QP vulnerable to Sybil attacks, which is a problem that can’t be solved completely without a lot of effort. Of course, one could also argue that reputation in other reputation systems is also scarce, because of attention scarcity: People simply don’t have enough time and attention to give everyone reputation. Still, some people have much more discretionary time and attention than others, which skews the system quite a bit (probably not to the better).
If QP fails, then it’s probably because it might not be made Sybil-resistant with appropriate means.
How do you define “reputation based economy”? I define it as economy in which you can live on your reputation alone, without having to sell anything (be that a product, your work, or a service).
I am aware of some of the potential pitfalls. But really, can “Prestige” be so much worse than “Whuffie”?
I guess that depends on the preferences of people. Some may prefer more static ways of storing value like gold or bitcoin. Others may want to invest into businesses, because that creates relatively large average returns. A few might even give their money away in order to do good and/or increase their public reputation. In any case, the conditional demurrage encourages users to give away or exchange their excess GeoFlux forms of value storage. But that doesn’t mean that GeoFlux is a bad form of value storage. It just loses its usefulness above the devaluation threshold (which is Prestige-dependent by the way).
Conditional demurrage is important for the long term dynamics of a flux currency. Because flux currencies are created continuously, they suffer from monetary inflation. Demurrage creates a possibility to money to be removed from the system, stabilizing the amount of money in circulation, and thus its value. Without it, the value of newly generation basic incomes and reputation incomes would vanish in comparison to the already existing flux money in circulation. What you’d effectively end up with is just another ordinary currency.
Note that regular demurrage and conditional demurrage are two very different things. If you are clever, you can find ways around suffering from demurrage in a conditional demurrage system. A conditional demurrage system only stops you from holding a lot of money personally. Nowadays, most people use banks to store money. In a flux currency economy the banks are those with the highest reputation, because they have the highest demurrage threshold.
So, what could rich people do, if they want to buy into the GeoFlux economy? They buy a lot of GeoFlux and lend that to the people with the highest reputation in the system. They might even get some interest for that! Gold usually doesn’t give you that advantage. Bitcoin might be a good alternative for quite a while. But if GeoFlux takes off, people will want to be seen investing into the GeoFlux economy, because that’s the (socially and economically) right thing to do, and doing the right thing should grant you more Prestige, which of course generates more GeoFlux for you. It’s a virtuous circle.
What you say seems to be pretty much true and depressing. It may be the core reason why real progress is happening so slowly, overall. But progress is happening nevertheless. Perhaps the solution is to start flux currencies in games, where they are seen as fancy sci-fi experiment. If it turns out that those players who use flux currencies outperform the others, maybe that will make people actually curious about them and they could spread into the real world.
All people could actually have more, if the economy was more equal, because that would boost economic growth. But hey, that’s just another thing nobody really considers, because they have no clue about economics, right?
Reputation gains are minimal in the beginning. Once GeoFlux becomes established, the initial creators and sponsors will have pretty impressive reputations. Of course, that’s a bit of a gamble, because it only works out, if the system actually becomes widely adopted.
That ties in with my argument about using it in games, I think. If only the visionaries are serious about GeoFlux and everyone else sees it as toy currency, it can still work out. Perhaps people need some time with playing with GeoFlux to really “get it”.
Hmm, because having scarce coins of the first actually working cryptocurrency counts for something? Well, that’s pretty much true.
Yeah, I get it. GeoFlux is like heavier than air flight and horseless carriages. Everyone believes it’s impossible, until it hits them.
Quantified Prestige and GeoFlux have that going for themselves, too. They are actually newer and more unexpected than bitcoin. Bitcoin was merely electronic currency 2.0. QP and GeoFlux belong to a whole new category.
It won’t hurt to have reputation currencies attached to QP at first, even if they are worth almost nothing in the beginning. But that would make people accustomed to reputation currencies. Finally, they will recognize their worth. If you introduce them to late too a serious reputation system, you would probably just waste time.
No, it doesn’t actually need it, but it would be better, if it had one. Times are shifting, and more and more people want a basic income. Universal basic income is even an economically sound idea (though still too few people are aware of that). If people see a way towards a universal basic income that doesn’t involve governments and taxation, they might actually want to have that.
On the other hand, the reputation currency market is free. There will be a large variety of flux currencies. Some with basic incomes, some without. Some would even have completely different kinds of incomes (see my flux currency post).
The worst case scenario is a world that is much more unequal than the current one. Almost complete automation. People can’t get jobs, money, or even reputation, because machines can do everything better. Machines get all the jobs, money, and reputation. People stop caring about humans, because dealing with machines is so much better. Almost no human will get an amount of reputation that suffices for staying alive. Most humans are treated as criminal rubbish and get killed on the spot. The few humans who are on top upgrade themselves into immortal AI. The end… Of humanity.
Note that you have asked me for the worst case scenario, not a realistic dystopian scenario.
Would you like being surrounded by people who don’t care whether you die, because they see you as lazy and worthless?
Ah, right, just as altruistic people today save all people in Africa from starving… not.
Yes, it was a deliberate decision not to include negative reputation in QP. There are several reasons for that:
Negative reputation can be used as weapon against people you don’t like. A negative reputation option in QP would make it attractive to start smear campaigns against people who aren’t exactly straightforward, like minorities, or transhumanists, or visionaries, …
Taking back positive reputation usually suffices as form of negative feedback, if someone actually does something that was anti-social.
Negative reputation would be used against those who hold differing political, religious, and cultural views. It would drown out the signals of positive reputation under a torrent of cultural clashes and shitstorms.
Yes, I think people should be rewarded for doing good things, even if others think those were bad. It’s all subjective. If you have your supporters who give you positive reputation, you would be shielded from negative reputation of the rest of the world, but only if negative reputation cannot destroy the effectiveness of positive reputation.
So, there is no need to have negative reputation in QP proper. It would suffice to have complementary negative reputation systems, which don’t interact with QP directly.
What? The only creator of GeoFlux? GeoFlux is created in a decentralised way as basic income and as reputation income. There is no way I could be the only creator of GeoFlux, unless I was also the only user of GeoFlux.
No, but I don’t have much choice at the moment. A lot of people are like that.
From a self preservation point of view it wouldn’t bother me because I’m not lazy and worthless.
I don’t think anyone is 100% lazy or completely worthless. So even the people who would be at the bottom of my ‘favourite people list’ would make enough GeoFlux to eat. (and in the very distant future when we’re post-scarcity, they won’t need any money to be able to live comfortably. (Neal Stephenson’s book ‘The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer’ has some great ideas about this) )
If it turns out that there are people that are so lazy and worthless that they can’t get enough GeoFlux to be able to eat. I wouldn’t like it.
I wouldn’t like it if people were dying because they were poor, but I don’t think that will happen, because I believe that in the not too distant future, we will live in a world where altruists can give all the worlds poorest people a decent standard of living.
The reason it doesn’t happen today, but will happen in the future is because we will have better technology then so the cost of giving someone a decent standard of living will keep getting cheaper. (Also there will be more altruists and slightly less bad/greedy people)
I’m thinking people should have a score for how much they’re loved (prestige), and a score for how much they’re hated (contempt). They are completely independent. GeoFlux income can be tied to how much you’re loved/esteemed (prestige). The contempt score would have no effect on anything, it would just be a number that anyone could look up. Many people might choose to ignore the contempt score all together by not awarding any contempt points and not even looking at the scores. Probably most of the smart people wouldn’t make any decisions based on it, and would only look at it out of amusement or curiosity. So why bother with it? I think just to see what happens, just for fun. If there did come a time when people cared about their contempt score I would be very surprised.
The only reason I can see not to have it is in case they encourage people like me to behave badly towards some people so that I could increase my contempt score. Not for any particular reason. Just as a game.
Yes, it says something that the first reaction many people had to horseless carriages, when seeing it in action was “Why? Everyone already has horses.”
It could hurt the prospect of the system as a reputation network if the focus ends up being on the currency. And trust me, the focus will be in the currency, sooner or later, if people see pumping the currency as a potential way to get richer. People in general are very suspicious of that sort of claim and if they lose interest at that point, it’ll be exceedingly difficult to get them to even consider the reputation network part of the system.
To avoid that, you’d need a solid reputation for the system as an useful reputation network before any kind of pumping of the system’s currency begins. One way to do that could be to start with a low enough demurrage limit that it’s easy to shoot down the get rich crowd.
Ok, this reminds me. One key feature in Bitcoin, that seriously sets it apart from a regular currency. It’s not just a value transfer system. It’s actually a system for making digital contracts. Owning bitcoins is actually a digital contract that specifies a way to identify the entity who can assign them to another contract.
Why is this important? Because, the contracts are pretty flexible in what you can do with them. For example, you could have a contract that specifies that the bitcoins locked in that contract can be reassigned to another contract if 8 out of 10 entities accept the reassignment. Those 10 entities could be people, they could be companies, they could be things with some degree of intelligence. Anything from a simple deterministic system to a full blown AI.
Do you think GeoFlex should support this sort thing? If it does, how would you apply the demurrage to jointly owned funds like that? If you don’t apply it, then this becomes a loophole to effectively own limitless amounts of GeoFlux. If you do … well, that’s a whole fracking can of worms to get right. Yet, if you don’t support this kind of thing at all, then GeoFlux has no hope at all of ever replacing Bitcoin.
The value proposition for Gold tends to be that it’s a low maintenance store of value. Very close to buy&forget until needed.
I just realized this means that the system is designed such that someone has to take the demurrage loss. The constant creation of new GeoFlux through reputation income and basic income means that eventually everyone will have the maximum amount of GeoFlux they can hold without demurrage. Once this point is reached, the demurrage is no longer conditional, but affects everyone.
In effect the demurrage becomes a tax that’s used to fund reputation income and basic income. Not a bad thing as such, but the number of novelty points I’ve awarded the system just took a nosedive.
I used to think progress is too slow and I’m still often irritated when things have to be done in a clumsy old fashioned way when I know they could be done so much more smoothly these days. However, I’m starting to think that there are good reasons for the slowness. If everything progressed as fast as visionaries would want it to, nobody, not even the visionaries themselves could keep up with all the change.
Yep, that’s pretty much it.
Umm, I think it makes sense to point out that a great many people are willing to put their name on a petition to help starving people in africa. That’s not much different from awarding them some reputation. I can easily see how systems would be built to track people with less reputation than is needed for basic survival and people helping the systems to award them enough reputation to sustain themselves. It’d be like charity, without actually having to part with anything to help them.
Trust me, it’d happen. So, in that sense, the basic income built into the system as a built-in feature is kind of superfluous.
Ok, then what about “Waffles” as name for the reputation index? How does that compare to “Prestige” and “Whuffie”? Or just pick some of the following:
Kills (probably a very bad idea)
Bombs (probably an even worse idea)
Nukes (ok, this is getting ridiculous)
Fives (“gimme Five” )
Anyway, I won’t rename QP to anything else soon. A descriptive name has its advantages. Though, QP has already been interpreted to mean “Quantum Prestige”. At least they got the “Prestige” part right. And hey, why not Quantum instead of “Quantified”?
I doubt that “get rich quick” guys would even be discouraged by a demurrage of 5% per annum. If they are only holding the currency for a few months that’s almost nothing. If you really want to discourage attention on the currency, it would suffice to reset all GeoFlux to 0 every year, until the system is mature, both from a technological as well as a social perspective. That way, people still can play with GeoFlux, but the focus will be on the reputation system. Who would want to buy a currency that will be worth nothing in a year? Except perhaps those who want to participate in crazy pyramid schemes.
Really good questions. Enabling jointly owned accounts and managing them with smart contracts is certainly a feature that would make a lot of sense. How would those work together with the demurrage system? Well, the demurrage threshold lies by default at 5 yearly reputation incomes of GeoFlux. If we invent a property of a GeoFlux account called “shielding”, then the default shielding of a personal GeoFlux account are 5 reputation income years. The amount of shielding you can give an account always depends on your momentary Prestige. But you could give shared accounts some shielding, if you really want to. That would make you lose some shielding of your personal account(s), but if you mostly use the shared accounts, that’s ok.
Ah, I’m glad you realized that. You are focusing on the end game here. That’s very clever. So, if in the end, everyone will max out on the GeoFlux they can hold without demurrage, what do we have then? Universal acceptance of GeoFlux, and a saturation of prosperity! Everyone would be wealthy. If someone was poor, they would use that person as bank for dumping their excess GeoFlux. So, is a not-exactly conditional demurrage a bad thing, if it requires the end of poverty to work?
Anyway, at that saturation point, some people might still be able to increase their Prestige so much that they increase their demurrage threshold so much, that they can escape it. Of course, that means that some people will then have to lose some Prestige and have to pay some more demurrage. Anyway, saying that the demurrage becomes actually “unconditional” is wrong, because there’s always a chance to escape it, even if that chance is low. It’s actually an additional incentive for pushing one’s Prestige score!
Perhaps you should also think about what happens in the intermediary phase, when some, but not all people are subject to the demurrage.
Hmm, just before you were talking about a situation in which everyone is wealthy, and everyone pays “voluntary taxes” (well, they could decide to opt out of GeoFlux) to make that system stable. And now that’s not novel enough? You have some pretty dramatic standards!
i have the same feelings about that. maybe you are not in the minority or we both are.
yes, the whole part about digital abundance is well written.
there is really a strange stubborn, persistent mem: a correlation between lazy and poor. statistics show completely the opposite: throughout history of humanity, the lazy and worthless ( or worse: destructive) are always to find among the extremely rich and those who shorten their lifetime with work for others are poor. if GeoFlux manages to create the correlation between poor and lazy for the first time in human history, it would be a revolution.
After a discussion on facebook I was asked to post some feedback here in these forums. If I’m posting in the wrong place, please let me know; my critique is general of all forms of monetary/currency and “economics” and as such might be better posted elsewhere?
My critique: Thinking and discussion relating to money/currency and “economics” is by definition abstract from the real world, because it’s ultimately all about numbers, the inevitable result is that physical wellbeing intrinsically gets treated as an externality…
How does this, or any, currency, guarantee that the primary incentive will be to improve wellbeing of the planet (environment, other forms of life) and humans (particularly freedom from being forced to work in meaningless or harmful “jobs”, and prevention of indentured servitude)?
How does this, or any currency, guarantee that the secondary incentive will be to improve liberty and stability of human population (both on a macroscopic and individual basis)? In particular, how will it prevent a need for “economic growth” (infinite growth on finite planet)?
How does this, or any, currency, guarantee that the tertiary incentive will be to open source ideas and technologies (ie. penalise knowledge hoarding, encourage open collaboration for the greatest good of all)?
Note: Basic Income Guarantee does not really deal with any of these issues; it merely deals with poverty (which itself is just structural violence inherent in any “economy”).
I’ve never really seen discussion of any socioeconomic system that puts the 3 things mentioned above as mandatory directives. Without those 3 things being covered, whatever is being discussed is little more than a new flavour of sado-capitalism.
Does GeoFlux have to be a cryptocurrency? Is there a way to make it work without using cryptocurrency?
What does cryptocurrency mean?
Do all cryptocurrencies use a computer calculation race to make it hard for any one party from taking over the system? Is there a better way to establish consensus between parties that don’t trust each other?
It’s kind of ugly if we have to waste all that energy and CPU cycles just because we can’t trust each other.
Before, I was thinking that making it impossible for people to have all their wealth stored in GeoFlux was a problem, but now I can see that there is a reason for your system being like this. And it doesn’t matter if people still invest in rare matter/materials, or whatever.