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Critique of Time Magazine Article on Alternative Currencies

Monday Dec 15 2008 -
OpenMoney Blogtalk Radio Session

michael linton - mwl
ernie yacub - ey

Highlights of discussion of Time Magazine Article on Alternative Currencies

mwl - The very term alternative currencies,  that puts you where you are right away.  Indeed the closing of the article, where the professor  <is mentioned>.  Andrew K Rhodes - The Professor of International Trade at UC Berkley.

Now why would they talk to a professor of international trade - at UC Berkley <half> school of business to see what this is all about....because he absolutely knows nothing about it. Nothing

I suppose this is the usual journalistic objectivism.  When somebody says the earth is round you have to find a flat earth expert to argue with it so that you can claim you are being objective and have consulted both sides of the question. What a silly idea.

3:45 EY: Lets get back to your objection to alternative

mwl - The statement alternative, first of all, says abandon the original.  There is an implication as soon as you say alternative that conventional money, legal tender, national currencies have got to go. 

Well, as soon as you say that you can rule out 99% of intelligent human beings as participants in your conversation.

As soon as the word alternative is in there you are basically saying we are going to replace this with that and you can too and we will all live happily ever in a Polyanna cloud kookooland

Quite rightly anyone who hears that implication switches it or cans it and forgets it.

If people talk alternative, they are missing the point. 

For a start, the currencies that we are describing and proposing to support through the open money platform, have being going on for thousands of years in different ways. 

We are bringing together the facility on the internet and ancilliary networks

The plain old telephone system will play a part in the open money network, as will the notice board in the cafe as will the as will the nod to my neighbour and ask him to put it up on the net.  All those components will be part of the virtual money net

But virtual money is not new, community currencies, networks of "I'll do this for you if you will do this for them" and it all comes around and goes around, that's not new, this is the stuff of communities for the last 5000 years.

Once you start saying alternative you've attributed a certain status and ascendancy to conventional money which it hardly deserves and certainly doesn't merit.

And then you have belittled yourself by saying that you are an alternative to it and are going to try to beat it in some way.

Starting out it is wrong in that respect.

I'm equally negative about the concept of complementary currencies.  Again it is a diminishing concept and it totally misses the point.  By naming the currency as a complementary currency, you're saying that it's major factor is that it complements the other one.  That's a pretty empty definition, it's like saying it's green, or it's a happy money, it means absolutely nothing about it's function, or style, performance or origin or it's properties. We've always been hot for the term community currencies, because that says what it is, what it is, is what it says, read the label - i'm always suspicious of people who don't get that distinction - regrettably, far too many people in this field are deeply or subtly confused about what's going on.

7:16 ey - the article talks about alternative currencies in single instances, as in "an alternative to" - community currencies means we're talking about multiple currencies, many, many, many different currencies - interestingly, the article did not talk at all about community currencies, in the plural, or open money - it talks about current developments in berkshares, ithaca hours, and old letsystems, and in fact you got a nod or two in that article for being the designer/developer of LETSystems, but nothing about open money.

8:15 mwl - if you read the first few paragraphs - Alternative (or "complementary") currencies range from quaint to robust, simple to high tech - a bit later down, "advocates of alternative currencies" - again, we're in that little box, and indeed, the examples they give, "quaint and robust" - they also call something hight tech which is anything but - nonetheless, you see the scale of the bucket they're putting this in, it's a bit like a board game, a trivial pursuit - alternative currency, happy little things for hippies and new age advocates - funny names, rabbits and lettuce patches, really very sad, and it's hardly surprising that people in the mainstream look at this and immediately dismiss it - so that's a problem i have with this sort of information.

9:33 ey - it occurs to me that there may be people who just joined in who don't know what we're talking about - a time magazine article on alternative currencies (dec 14)

10:04 mwl - the main graphic is a display of the berkshares, the paper chase that the shumacher society have introduced in great barrington to demonstrate the viability of their so-called alternative, complementary currencies and i have a distinct problem with the continuing propagation of the paper thin models - the berkshare, the toronto dollar, the saltspring dollar, all the transition town moneys in the uk that are popping up all over the place with great glee and excitement - functionally, when you come down to it, they do absolutely nothing apart from  raise a certain amount of consciousness - now the problem with the consciousness it raises, either the people who become attracted to it are attracted to what they think it is, in which case they are misleading themselves or the people who are attracted to it know full well that these currencies do virtually nothing apart from paper the walls and get people interested in some way - they have no economic function - they merely substitute one colour of dollar bill for another colour of dollar bill, in the localized swirl around - when a few million dollars pours in and out of your economy every day, any small town, even village, when that money moves in most of it moves out at the first transaction - i get my pay check, go to the supermarket, gas station, pay my mortgage, and of the thousand dollars that i spent in that few days probably about 70 or 80 percent goes straight out of town - only about 20% recirculates through local value added, salaries, wages, profits, rent, purchasing, local taxes, this sort of thing, most of it goes straight out of town to the gas companies for the oil, to the banks for my mortgage,
anything that i buy that is not produced locally, and that's most things in our shopping baskets, require hard cash so most of it's gone - you can do the math yourself - the 30% is like the eddy at the side of the river, the river flows on, but there's a little bit of it that's eddying around on the side - that's where the berkshares are - the berkshares have just become an evident part of what was perhaps not evident before, that some money swirls around and stays here but all that the berkshares are doing are substituting for the hard cash that they pulled out to create the berkshares, because the berkshare is just a substitute for conventional money, a shopping coupon, a gift card - you go to the bank and lay down a 100 bucks, they give you 100 berks, you go to the stores and you spend them, the stores can come back to the bank, turn the berks in and get 95 cents - the theory is that it will be sufficient to dissuade them from doing so, and the money they will spend again, well where will they spend it? exactly where they were going to spend it - no function, no change, 
14:26  mwl - my problem is that amount of time and energy that's gone into things like the berkshares, and it's difficult to find out cause nobody is willing to talk about how much it costs them to run this facade - it's very misleading and what concerns me is it tends to mislead the people who are propagating it as much as anything else - it's the same as the ithaca hour process, that was a good idea in ithaca when it began largely because the man who began it, paul glover, a powerful, charismatic, committed, effective advocate and without his work the rather empty concept of ithaca hour, and frankly it's nothing but a piece of paper script - it's a good idea for simplistic circulation, bringing ideas to the front, but it's an awful currency - like saying we're going to build and aeroplane but let's not bother with wings, they just get in the way of the trees and they live in a narrow forest, so we won't have wings, we'll have a plane with no wings - perfect logic and people say ok, and there is some acceptance of this is what an aeroplane does, runs around the forest going between the trees - that's what ithaca hours did and it led to two decades of wasted time and energy around north america, it also contributed greatly to the confusion that people had about LETSystems work - it's the way these things work, well into another cycle - the whole concept of berkshares, the reggio, the big things in europe, regional currencies, same game - it's like changing the colour of the paper and saying you've changed something, well you haven't - you've changed peoples' consciousness but i think you've changed it in a detrimental way - not the first time i've had problems with time magazine.

16:51 ey - no doubt there will be more - let's jump to a few things you said on the last blogtalkradio show about portland open money - it segues rather nicely in this conversation - you said "what's poweful about open money is the capacity to create money,
to be sovereign with our moneys in our own communities and that sovereignty is enhanced as more and more of them emerge

17:42 mwl - it's like snowflakes on the sidewalk, they're not going to last, even in cold weather they're going to disappear in due course, gone in a flash - the problem we have with any of these ideas is their aggregation into society - when does it become something that people see what it is rather than don't see because they have no way to understand it apart from something trivial - that's about much personal experience, we want lots of people doing this, we want lots of people experiencing the subtlety of the process and the flexibility of it - the difficulty with all these single currency, we have the answer for you, lets do it this way and then we'll all be happy - the idea that it must be a time bank or a flat hours type system or the idea that it must be like a LETSystem so that businesses can participate, transparency, normal tax accounting systems and so on - each one, no matter how good it is, is just one system and although i am an autonomous member of that currency, a user, and my ability to issue money in that network is embedded in the concept - anybody in a LETSystem or a timebank can be positive or negative, basically, a mutual credit system, some up some down - we have created the money, we as a group without having to form a group, without having to create structured agreements we are just jointly participating in this thing and its working - ok, but my participation in it seems to be predicated on the idea that there are another 2 or 3 hundred - so i lose my sense of being an independent actor or at least some part of it - it becomes evident to me that i have control over this when i think me and my 5 neighbours should have a car sharing collective or we want a child care network, or there's 25 of us around the world that deal in this particular antique line, we're after green bottlestoppers that came from bratislava between 1942 and whatever - suppose we have some particular fetish, we need a particular network to support that game - what open money makes available is what googlegroups and yahoo made available in the email world - you want to talk about something, start an email group - you can do it here, click bang, you're off - an email group for green bottlestoppers from bavaria, an email group for your local child care network, an email group for whatever - similarly, a currency for whatever  - the sovereignty lies not merely in participation - ithaca hours gives you that - any mutual credit network gives you the ability to create money - it lies in the ability to create a currency system at will - now that doesn't mean its going to be a good currency system - in fact, i'm willing to bet the vast majority of yipee, lets start a money system will prove that not all money systems are well designed - some of them are ill-planned, they're not properly targeted at any user group, their agreements about how they operate, whether there are limits, whether its measured in miles or ergs or hours or dollars or pig belly futures - some of them will work and be practical, others will be mere fantasies and fetishes.

22:21 mwl - cory doctorow, a brilliant canadian writer, created the whuffie concept which is basically a reputation/accreditation currency - nice job ernie, i'll give you 5 whuffies for this - within the novel in which he introduced this, it makes perfect sense, a continuing theme in the book, but will it fly in the real world -that's a whole different question - my analysis would be that no, it won't go anywhere apart from time magazine and other ill-conceived journalistic places - the concept of reputation currencies, yes, but reputation currencies will be effective mainly inside the communities and to be most effective they will need to be specific to those communities and sort of recursive,
reflexive, interactive in a way that a global whuffie is not going to make it - i'm glad he's introduced the concept, i'm glad to see it gaining some sort of "currency", shall we say, but as a practical initiative, well, it's a nice story.

23:50 ey - but as you say, the whuffie can use the open money platform to check it out, see how it works, play with it - this brings in the distinction between community currencies and open money which i think needs to be elaborated.

24:23 mwl - a community currency is quite simply a money that is acceptable to a community of users - something that is used perhaps by 20 people, perhaps by 20,000 people, perhaps it involves businesses perhaps it doesn't - the definitive characteristic is that it is a community money, it is not accepted in other parts of the world - you can't take it to your bank and deposit it to your account - only the people who think its sensible, useful, applicable are using it - it could be like the ithaca hour, fiat, unbacked bits of paper, in ourselves we trust maybe - great idea as far as it works - its not a money you have control or autonomy within - its just another piece of paper you get to pass around that's created by an institution, not by you, whose value is dependent upon, well not you, not your fault if the ithaca hour flies or falls - however, in a mutual credit system, you are responsible for the money you have created and issued by your transaction - so in a community currency that is mutual credit you are a responsible entity, there's an increased level of responsibility and accountability.

26:04 ey - its a reputation issue

26:09 mwl - yes, if you don't perform according to your promises, then you are known as a person who's promises are worthless - so if you want your good name to persist and you want the value of returning again and again to this well, to be part of the give and get cycle, spend money earn money, spend money earn money, you've got to do both sides of that coin and it is your responsibility and you personally will thrive or crash according to your willingness to behave like a responsible human being.

26:50 mwl - now open money is the space that enables that on a very general framework - that is, anybody anywhere in the world with access to the internet can use the available facilities, to implement their own currency - that's an open space - its the money that's open, and our development process, is the development of an open money facility - its like we are saying, by comparison, that we are trying to develop and propagate the internet - we're not trying to create a browser, we're not trying to create another social network, or another search engine - all of those are things that operate on internet and are expressions of what internet makes possible and available - and any currency in the world, even the federal reserve, or the mexican godknowswhat, or the malaysian whachamacallit, whatever they are, they exist because its possible for people to enter into social and contractual agreements and manage them through these symbolic exchanges of items of record, pieces of paper, coins, bills, whatever - but that doesn't mean all the currencies created are open - in fact the history of the human race, 99.9% of the currencies that have been effective through the last few thousand years have been very closed indeed - you didn't get to make gold coinage unless you had gold - you didn't get to use any coinage unless you had acceptable means of earning it probably determined by the king or archbishop - so our previous monetary models have been closed - open money is first of all the recognition that social agreements are within the autonomous opportunity, the right of the individual - not so much a right, its a fact - in some cultures and regimes it would be inappropriate for you to publicly engage in these currencies - you would have to do it very privately and covertly to keep your head on your shoulders but in the west, in the land of so-called free speech, if i say, ernie, you did a good job, thank you very much for what you gave me, your services or your goods, i say it would be worth at least 400 dollars if i have the money but i don't, so i am going to acknowledge you 400 local dollars, our money, no hard money, just acknowledging the value of the gift that you gave to me - now that's an open statement that principles of free speech in a free society, evidently make proper - its also appropriate in most of those circumstances taxation applies - we live in a constitutional democracy, we live as a society that pools most of our resources to our common needs, our roads, schools, hospitals, armies, senate seats, all the pecadilloes of the political game - we do collaborate through our tax system to support that which is common to our constitutional democracies - so we should pay taxes on our earnings, whether they're earned in our federal dollar or our local dollar - else we're ducking our community responsibility - i'm not saying that all taxes are well levied or well spent, on the contrary, but i don't think we can claim any moral high ground pretending that somehow or other we have removed ourselves from that moral responsibility.

31:15 ey - that's a good point to take a wee break - there are some people who have joined us on the blogtalkradio chat and i have a question for you - if anybody wants to call in, the number is 646 716 9424 - if you tuned in late, this is open money on blogtalkradio and i'm ernie yacub, the guy that's doing most of the talking is michael linton - aint it the truth, yes - here is a question for you - "don't we have to distinguish resource allocation currencies from social status currencies?"

32:05 mwl - oh yeah, there's a whole spectrum of power and relevance associated with these currencies - i mean some of them are going to buy you beer at the supermarket - that's not on your reputation, your reputation points won't buy you beer at the supermarket - if you want to do that, you've got a resource allocation currency to consider - mainstream, perhaps on a smart card, perhaps in a paper form, perhaps on your phone wallet but however you do it the practical purpose of such a money is to support the mainstream economy - people buying and selling, working, getting paid bonuses, wages, spending them on other purchases - usually in part payment - at a grocery store we would expect our resource allocation local currency to carry maybe 20% of the bill, the other 80% better be cash, plus any sales taxes, those better be in cash - its nice to have the 20% go through your local currency, your local circulation cycle.

33:21 mwl - now ranging from high turnover, localized, means-of-exchange currencies that support you in buying and selling versus harder, longer term currencies that are supporting capital investment, the funding of a new school, or a sewer project or the introduction of a small enterprise, maybe a youth employment project which gets 20 people to work - now these can be equally supported by forms of currencies which in many cases aren't so much resource allocation currencies as resource creation currencies - again, that's a different catagory.

34:14 mwl - now the light weight stuff, which is not insignificant just because it is lighter weight  - eg ernie, that's a lovely hat you have on today, it really shows off the colour of your eyes, i think it's worth 10 wuffs or whatever we have decided our local reputation score is - that's great, at the end of the year you may have plenty of wuffs and passed around plenty of wuffs and those wuffs, passed around and allocated to each other are a form of social glue, augmentation, acknowledgment, they're real, they're very important, but they're not going to buy you beer at the supermarket - distinction is very important and again, that's something that's lost in the single currency alternative model - our alternative currency is the whatever and its meant to be one thing to meet so many competing functions and the main one that people will measure with - is it as good as the hard dollar? for most people it doesn't compare - i can do anything with a hard dollar, this one only does that and i have to be nice to people too, whereas the hard dollar i can treat everybody like crap, it doesn't matter.

35:30 mwl - well carry those distinctions through to the multiple applications of a full spectrum open money platform and you're looking at a very different world with many different dimensions and its good to know the difference.

35:51 ey - this is another good lead in to something you said last week - extend that through the whole panoply of human behavior, the whole spectrum of societal groups, the "collage of neo-tribalism".

36:10 mwl - the word tribe has a very mixed history - historically a tribe was a unitary thing and you were a member of this tribe or or a member of that tribe - you couldn't be a member of too many tribes - it just didn't work with the phobic nature - we hang together and we screw everybody else world of tribalism - identification with the group, subordination to the group - the word tribe has a certain archaic, isolationism associated with it - now with the new world of interconnectedness, the flexibility, the variety of lives we lead few of us are as locally restricted as we used to be before we had transportation, job opportunities in other parts of the world, easy travel - quite often people lived in one place their entire lives, never went 20 miles away - that's no longer the case - we live in large cities with many crossed relationships - i work in this part of town, i live in that part of town, my recreation takes part in that part of town - these are the people i work with, we all wear suits - these are the people i play with, we all wear... social tribes, commercial tribes - its appropriate that we have methods of acknowledgment, value transfer, or reputation acknowledgment, whatever, that match the behavior of, the multiple behaviors of multiple tribes - obviously, tribes are different from each other with different characteristics - i wouldn't treat child care in my neighborhood in the same way that i would treat commercial real estate ventures - the currency models would be different - and even within a particular group, like the chamber of commerce in your home town - of course it will have a currency unless they're plain stupid - it might take them a while to catch the gist of it but they'll have at least a currency for their chamber of commerce membership - and within that there will be several different groupings - those in the retail business, those in the service business, those in health care, professional services, and they each have different currencies - some of these will be open, some of them may be covert - me and my mates at the back of the bar, we start a little currency, don't tell anybody else about it, its our game - we don't have to tell anybody what we're doing unless there are tax implications, nobody else needs to know - even within a single community or tribe there may be several, maybe dozens, maybe hundreds of currencies appropriate to the subtle distinctions within that group.

39:48 mwl - i've often tried to work out how many currencies there may be on the planet in a few years and the numbers just quickly spiral off because the distinction between reputation currencies and resource allocation currencies will be quite substantial - in terms of resource allocation, i'm guessing at least one currency per 100 people - that's not to say that will be the dominant currency at all, in fact it will be very subordinate - the active currencies will be
those with 10,000 to 100,000 people involved in them - that's mostly where the economic transactions will take place but as i redefine the world i live in and the collectives of the people i relate to, most of us will come down at some stage to this group of 100, maybe its my high school graduation, the people i know through my sports club or whatever so most of us will belong to at least one group which is about 100 people - that crude analysis suggests there will be something like 60 million currencies on the planet in a few years but i think that's underestimating, i think there will be an awful lot more.

41:23 mwl - one of the things the open money platform will allow, hardly there yet, it will allow that i can create my own sub-domain for my own personal activities - that may not be trading currencies, probably won't be, but my household accounts, maybe my business accounts or the account of some project i and some others are engaged in can be tracked through the open money network and facility - how many of those networks will exist? the numbers disappear into the stratosphere very quickly - the difficulty with a fractal propagation - actually its not a difficulty, its an asset of fractal propagation - there is no edge, no limit, it just goes on.

garbled sound...
42:25 ey - we've got 17 minutes left and there are a couple of other things i wanted to check in with from that show, where you talk about pattern, the way money moves is the way things move

garble done...

43:04 mwl - we tend to see one part of the traffic, we become so addicted to the monetary model that when we talk of the economy we talk of so many trillion dollars, we talk of inflow outflow, we talk of trading balances, we talk of the value of the money, we talk of the average earnings of people in this sector or that industry - we're looking at the money - this is a fairly effective way of tracking and observing the economy - watch the money, follow the money, where's the money going, how much goes here, how much goes there but of course, we also have to recognize that generally when money goes from me to you, its because something else went from you to me - the taxi ride, the bottle of beer, the six hours of consultancy, whatever - there is a transfer of something physical, tangible, valuable, substantial - a thing happens in the world and then there is this marking of it by the monetary transfer - every event in the transaction universe of the monetized economy can be seen as the money goes from a to b and it can be seen as the thing that moves from b to a - and then b goes to c and c to d and d to f etc on and on and on - was i talking about the money or was i talking about the thing - it doesn't matter, its just that they move in different directions.

44:48 mwl - electrical engineers sometimes talk about electrons and positrons - just a different way of describing how current flows - its going that way or its going this way - now with money and reality, they're not exchangeable, you can't say one is the other, they're not - one is symbolic going in one direction, the other is real going in the other - for events to happen in the world, there must therefore be a money that can move from a to b and a thing to move from b to a - a wants what b is offering, the loaf of bread or the haircut - b wants what a is offering, the money that a has available and b is willing to accept - if i got that the wrong way round, that's too bad, you get the picture, both components have to be there - a tangible good or value and an effective money - if those two are there the event can take place and then the next and then the next and the next - ok, since the money that we are generally dependent upon is legal tender, conventional money, bank and central government issue, not yours, its value lies in the money not you, it can go anywhere, guess what folks, it is going anywhere - in fact its generally going to the cheapest source of supply - if the money doesn't care about you or your community as it doesn't if we're talking about conventional money its going to go chase the biggest bang for its buck - its going to go to the third world where there are no environmental considerations worth worrying about, they're out of sight out of mind - we don't know about the human rights issues, just give me the cheap goods

46:35 mwl - its going to go to the oil industry, of course, so much of our economy is basically pushing the carbon, just peddling drugs to each other, unfortunately its a killer drug, we're going to have to do something about the carbon but the money we're using at the moment is so suitable for trashing the planet through pumping carbon into the atmosphere - nothing has ever been designed that is so effective at it as what we're doing and that's simply because that money preferentially will go to the places where it can create the most leverage and get the most return on its investment without accounting externalities, without counting history, what its discarding - without counting the future its dissolving, destroying - hell, we made a good profit this year, my books are up - why, because we didn't actually count what the money actually did, no recognition of its pattern.

47:45 mwl - the money we are dependent upon is trashing us at a final? rate - what we need to look at is the benefit that comes from a money that is patterned, circulates inside this community, be it the 10 people or the 10,000 people - that which i do with this money contributes to others in my community being able to do things with each other and in a way where consent is essential and externalities are internalized, we start counting the costs.

48:30 mwl - "once he's done with pattern" i'm looking at the skype chat...

48:40 ey - "i think we have a lot to learn about how open money will emerge by looking at how decentralized social networks are emerging from services like facebook and ning." (guillaume)

48:54 mwl - absolutely - that's a very good point guillaume - what we're seeing with the aggregation and connectivity that is emerging in social networks as a consequence of the technology and the opportunity and benefits thereof is a very good indication of how we anticipate the propagation of open money, except that we think it will be at least an order of magnitude faster and more productive - that's mixing quantity with quality, a rather vague concept, but things are going to move so damn fast - in a way, one can look at the propagation of the internet - when the internet was first conceived it didn't exist, it had to bootstrap itself - if you think about how the internet could have propagated if the internet already existed, which is an absurd hypothesis but you can imagine it would go a damn sight faster if it used the tools that had already emerged - the propagation of open money is going to ride upon many of the phenomena such as the social networks - our bet is that facebook, google, that seem to be the two warring contenders in the field at this point - both of them are going to jump on the open money bandwagon and quite quickly and the one that gets there first is going to be the better positioned but i bet it comes from the users, not from head office - just a prediction which i'm totally willing to be proved wrong on.

51:00 mwl - however, basically, just glancing down these notes that guillaume is banging up on the text chat - right, go with all of it and thank you cosmic tree, therese, for your earlier comment about the reason you are liking open money is that it encourages us to be consumers and producers - a give and take - the hard money basically encourages one side of the game, our dependency to get the money, go get a job, you need a job - why? to get the money so as you can spend it so as you can be a consumer and stay alive in this world - our focus is get it, get it, get it, o my god its gone, go get some more,  get the money, get the money - that's such an imbalanced behavior where we're in contention with those who pay us, we want to give them as little as possible for the maximum money and then we're in contention with those who serve us, we want to get as much as possible from them for as little money as possible - its a profoundly ungenerous society, a recipe for disaster.

52:17 ey - the most for the least is the con money game and community currencies and open money LETSystems are quite different convivial games.

52:35 mwl - yes, they encourage that quality in human nature and society which is the only glue that's kept us going despite the nastiness of our social and institutional and financial arrangements - if people were not capable of generosity, love respect, conviviality, we'd have burned out a thousand years ago - the true nature, of human nature, is in a way hidden behind the facade of our society - without our capacity to be human, to be related, to live in this soft give and take, the to and fro, our society would be dead, families could not exist never mind the interactivity of society - we have obscured all this and believe in survival of the fittest, primitive expression of what social darwinism supposed itself to be - the horatio alger stuff, go get rich - what's good for general motors is good for america, i believe they used to say - do they still say so?

54:00 mwl - its a different world when we start using a different money, so please, lets get on with that - which leads me to a comment that i wanted to make - we have for several years now been promising the immanence of an open money platform that's applicable, available, effective, right here right now, and unfortunately, for several years we have been unable to provide - i won't get into the details of that...things get close and then they fall off.

54:40 mwl - one of the major protagonists in the development efforts, hugh barnard,  has recently announced the latest installation of cc lite - not entirely polished yet, some testing to be done - a debian package that provides a full open money platform - you can create cascades of name spaces, so you could have london, sectors of london, sectors of sectors of london - it can create multiple currencies - it can support any individual within that name space in an open money facility - he is the first to produce a mainstream, on the road, get your money here package - its not going to be the only one and in the next few weeks we hope to be able to both provide a facility of the cc lite package for anyone who wants to join in to our namespace.

56:18 mwl - also some parallel efforts, geoff cheshire's regenerosity package as a very flexible and interesting application of the open money concept which also contains the LETSplay game
an educational meme - without the game, people are left trying to explain this to each other and believe me that's difficult, and if you don't believe me, try it and then you will - on the other hand, if you can take people to a game that gives them more and more understanding without the argument and contention that usually goes on then everybody will move much more quickly

57:01 mwl - the third strand of our new opening which will be on very bare bones at the moment, the third one will be eric harris-braun's rubyonrails package which is perhaps the most productive design that needs considerably more work to take it to the ready for the road level

57:52 ey - we've got 2 minutes left, time to pack it in.

58:00 mwl - one thing i would add, the value of transcription - its great to have these conversations even more so when we get our video stream going along with it and can be highly interactive - basically, the town hall meeting is open between 10 and 11 every morning but even then, that which is said, the issues raised, conversations that come up, are better articulated
in text, on screen, in a searchable format.

58:39 ey - we need help with transcription - anybody that wants to help, please email us, i'm ernie at openmoney dot org and michael is mwl at openmoney dot org or google openmoney