Idémaskinen


Open letter to Peter Joseph, Jacque Fresco and the Zeitgeistmovement

In this letter I will state verifiable and indisputable facts that I believe to be relevant to the Zeitgeist movement. I will later discuss the implications this would have for the Venus project in particular.

My name is Robert Wensman and I am a computer scientist located in Sweden. I came to know about the Zeitgeist movement in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, and this movement has in a deep way influenced my view of the world. In particular by pointing out the inherent flaws of our financial systems, and giving inspiration in how we could create a completely new system.

Even though the view and beliefs of the Venus project resonate with my own vision for a better world, I have to say that there are some hard facts that the Zeitgeist movement seem oblivious to, in particular related to computer science and computational complexity and automated decision making, the methods of science and resilience on the top most level of society.

As a side note: When I was young I had ideas similar to some which can be found in the Venus project, in particular in regards to the automated production system, but as I started to study computer science and computational complexity I had to revise or even reject some of these Ideas. The purpose of this message is to share this insight, and at the end propose alternative ways of creating a resource based economy in the same spirit as the original one proposed by the Venus project, yet quite different. Now lets start with the first fact.

Fact 1:

Automated planning and optimization becomes exponentially more expensive in terms of computational resources as the size of the problem increases.

What does this mean? It simply means that if you want to automatically optimize the construction of a certain machine, artifact or system by using a computer, it becomes exponentially harder to do so as the complexity of what is being optimized is increased.

We can take a simple example that is easy to understand:

Say for example that we would like to design a car. If there is just one parameter with 10 different choices, the total number of cars to choose from is just 10. But say for example that there are 10 such parameters. This means that the number of possible car designs in total are 10*10*10*10… or in other worlds. 10^10. or 10000000000. If there are 100 such parameters of the car, the number of possible cars djup to 10 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000. That is a one with 100 zeroes, a very big number.

So, what we can see from this simple example, is how the number of possible solutions virtually explode as the number of parameters increase from 1 to just 100. Most people of the zeitgeist movement are familiar with the destructiveness of the exponential growth of money. For automated planning and optimization, there is a similar explosion in regards to how much computational resources is needed depending on the number of parameters.

How about if we use super-computers? Unfortunately, it seems that the size of a computer matters little as any exponential function quickly outgrows any given computational limitation. Because of exponential computational complexity, it is in fact very easy to overload the most powerful computer imaginable, even with a rather simple problem. So, it becomes necessary to somehow limit the number of solutions that needs to be considered, but this imposes a subtle problem as we shall see.

So, how is this relevant to the Zeitgeist movement? The Venus project envisions an automated production system based on a computer that optimizes natural resource utility. But apparently there are inherent difficulties involved in doing so, and even if there are ways of dealing with these computational explosions, it comes at a price.

The only way to deal with exponential complexity is through imposing some restraints on what possible solutions are explored, define in what order the possible solutions are explored or identifying sub-systems that could be optimized individually. In effect this means that the programmer of the automated decision making system will have to imprint his or her own opinions into the system. It might not be obvious, or subtle to the untrained eye, but it is still an indisputable fact.

What this means, is that when it comes to real problems of the world, such as designing a car, building a city or deciding on what energy system to use, there is no such thing as an unbiased or neutral automated decision making system that can do it. It is simply impossible to build such a system due to the laws of computation.

Fact 2:

Rationality deteriorates when facing the unknown.

An even more problematic aspect of automated decision making is when it comes to planning or optimization when some facts are unknown. There is by definition no truly rational way of dealing with unknown facts. It is possible to make what we call ”informed guesses” based on previous knowledge, but any method for doing so needs to ultimately depend on unproven assumptions about reality, or to put it in another way, ”other guesses”.

An example of this is when undertaking the task of exploration. During the process of exploration, it is impossible to determine the outcome of a certain decision, simply because the whole idea with exploration is to discover the unknown. To give an example:

It would be difficult for an automated system to determine if we should drill for geothermal power in a certain area, or if we should build wind turbines to obtain power. This could simply depend on the fact that we might not know what lies beneath the surface of the earths crust in that particular place. We could of course drill some holes in order to examine the area, but in doing so we have already invested quite a lot of resources.

So basically, sometimes decision-making involves making bets where the outcome is uncertain by necessary.

Trekkies might notice that this is one base for the constant dramatical tension between captain Kirk and Spock. Logic reasoning, while seemingly superior, becomes futile in the face of uncertainty. At the same time, irrational human emotions can prove useful when making bets and exploring the unknown. In other words, to go where no man has gone before

This again makes it necessary for the programmer of the automated decisionmaking system to insert into it assumptions and oppinions. This unintendedly puts power in the hands of the programmers of such systems.

Fact 3:

Even if decision making is not a matter of opinion, decisions are derived from opinion, collective or individual.

For example, the decision to live is based upon opinion, the opinion of believing life is better than non-life. This might be an extreme example, but it points to a very important fact, namely that in the end, all actions have an intention or purpose based upon opinion.

And while many opinions might not be a matter of debate, such as that humans should have enough food to eat, adequate shelter and means of communication. Many things in human society is based upon less universal opinion, where compromise and tradeofs become necessary.

For example, if an automated production system built a public library, it would still not be able to choose the color of the building automatically. This is because the preference of color is a matter of public opinion or even personal opinion.

So, a society needs mechanism by which it can deal with personal and public opinion, and create the fair trade-offs between conflicting opinions. One mechanism by which to resolve such conflicts in opinion is using democracy and majority voting. Another way to do it is to use some kind of explicit currency and trade.

Fact 4:

The scientific method to explore the world is not rational. The scientific community is therefore a hierarchical institution based mainly on prestige and social networking.

Considering previously presented facts about computational complexity, dealing with unknown facts and opinion, it should come as no surprise to us that the scientific method to explore the world is not as rational as it often described as. The human brain is also subject to the laws of nature, and is also unable to deal with the true complexity of the world.

So, while it is true that the scientific method can allow us to verify whether some theory is true or not, at least to some reasonably reliable extent. The scientific method offer very little in regards to how we arrive at the theory that we would like to verify. How we decide what field of science should be explored or what scientific paradigm should be used.

Because of this, it should also not be very surprising that the scientific community can to a large degree be described as a political institution, where other things rather than hard facts play a significant role in the decisions being made.

So for example, if the scientific community is set with the task of constructing an automated production system, by necessity embodying certain premises and non-apparent opinions, it is very likely that the scientific community will become the scene for a bitter struggle for domination, as representatives of different scientific paradigms battle each other wielding their status and influence. Even within a particular scientific team there will be schisms that cannot be resolved through reasoning or common sense.

Fact 5:

All human behavior is based upon the hardware of the brain.

Although I have to praise the ambition of the Zeitgeist movement to reform the human culture into a more humane and peaceful one, and while this also might be possible to a large extent, there are certain things that needs to be taken into consideration.

The human mind is a biological computer, and as a such it has to comply with some of the laws of nature. In this way it is possible to understand that it might be impossible to in a 100% determine the state of a human mind through external impression.

For example, all of what a human knows and beliefs is determined by the current state of the human mind. But like we all know, all system has an initial state. An initial settings of all its internal components make up its initial state. In the context of artificiall intelligence, scientists like to say ”it is impossible to learn anything if you do not know anything”. This points to the fact that any knowledge or opinion of a human beeing, needs to be based on initial assumptions and oppinions.

So while the behavior of human to a large extent might be a result of environment. Maybe 50%, 70% or even 99%. It might be physically impossible for the human behavior to be 100% dependent on its environment. The hardware of the brain will always remain a factor.

Any society has to take this fact into consideration. While we might be able to reform culture to a large extent, there might be limitations to this. Things that cannot change, or is hard to change.

Fact 6:

Situations could occur that makes human labor necessary.

For example, right now we are running out of oil, and there is a dire need to find alternative power sources. If we do not find alternative resources in time, we might have to replace a large amount of work performed by machines, with work performed by humans. For example if the lack of oil makes it necessary to re-establish a less industrialized agriculture, at least until we have found other power supplies.

So while it is desirable with a society of abundance with no need for human labor, it might be dangerous to create a society that is dependent on this to function. So, for a society to be resilient, it needs some method by which to distribute labor in a fair and efficient way when required.

Fact 7:

If a small group of people hold too much power, there is allays a risk of corruption.

Taken the human history, this should be pretty self evident. But I will nonetheless make a more thorough argument for this important fact.

As stated by previous facts, a certain amount of power will be given to the architects of any automated production system. If we at the same time consider that it might be impossible for a complete reform of the culture, removing all selfish or narcissistic traits from every individual, we are always in danger of corruption on the highest level of society.

Fact 8:

Even if there is no money, there will by definition still be currencies and trade.

A currency is defined as anything humans put value in, and as long as humans put value in their life, there will be currencies of various kinds. Trade is whenever human exchange items or services of value, and as long as humans interact in any meaningful way, there will be trade. Humans can of course interact without trade, but it would be difficult to prohibit trade of any kind taking place.

For example, if a person invites a friend for a cup of tea, they both exchange each others friendly company, in what could be described as a trade taking place. Psychologists such as Dr. Phil talks about currencies of a relationship, such as a marriage, and that there needs to be a balance. No one likes a selfish person who uses other person as servants.

So the argument is that the occurance of currency and trade is to a large degree a question of definiton.

When realizing this, we should note that the goal of a resource based economy should not be to eliminate the occurance of trade and currencies. This might not be neccessary in order to create a far better society than the current.

Fact 9:

”Abundance” is a concept without boundaries

While it is true that the human body requires a certain amount of resources in order to live, satisfying those needs is only the first step for a society. The Venus project aims at creating a society of abundance, where more spiritual needs of the curious human mind is satisfied.

However, as we all are aware of, there is really no limit to the human curiosity, and hence there is also no limit to how many resources a human could want to use, even in an abundant society. If for example, all people on earth wants to visit space once in their lifetime, there might simply not be enough energy and resources on this planet to make this happen, taking into account the rather resource demanding venture of going to space.

What this means in practice, is that a society will allays need a system for rationing resources, even if they are ”abundant”. Moreover, because of differences in personal opinions, there might be a need for a system where resources of one kind, can be traded for resources of another kind. For example, one person might want to visit space once in his or her lifetime, while another person might want to live a life nearby a nice a beach where it is possible to go surfing.

This indicates that a natural resource based economy needs a currency system that correspond to the utilization of earths natural resources.

Fact 10:

Centralized planning and increased efficiency in general decreases resilience.

It can be proven that for any given energy transformation system, there is always trade off between energy efficiency and resiliance. This has been proven by researchers studying eco-systems (as quoted by Bernad A Liater). For example, if a society has one single automated production system that optimizes energy usage throughout the whole world using effective but centralized mass production, the system as a whole might become vulnerable if one single component of the system fails due to some unforeseen reason. In order to increase efficiency, redundancy is generally eliminated, but in order to increase resiliency, redundancy is generally required. And moreover, the balance between the two cannot be calculated by some general law, and is in general a matter of opinion.

While advocates of the Venusproject has mentioned redundancy when it comes to machines, such as airplanes with redundant landing gears to improve safety etc, it is also important to note that the same reasoning should apply on the top most level of society as well. Especially if we consider previously stated facts that shows that there can be no perfect automated production system because of inadequate computational resources. If one automated production system falls victim to corruption of its architects, is based on inaccurate assumptions or simply fails because of natural disaster, other production system should stand ready to take over parts of its function.

An alternative direction for the Zeitgeist movement

So, my argument is that the Venus project as currently presented does not take these ten facts into full consideration, making it slightly flawed. Especially when it comes to the inherent problems of computational complexity that limits the possibilities of building an automated production system that fully meets the expectations of the Zeitgeist community. No doubt we could create a pretty good system, but not a perfect, unbiased or neutral one. So, taking all these facts into consideration, I would like to present an alternative way to organize a resource based economy.

Even though some might perceive my suggestions as blasphemous to the Zeitgeist movement, I have to insist that I do this out of deepest respect for the Venus Project, trying to achieve the same thing as the Venus Project, but using a fundamentally different method.

The solution part 1: Natural resource sharing – the female currency

Instead of the industrialized and centralized version of the natural resource based economy as presented by the Venus project, I would propose an organic and diversified version of the resource based economy. The reason why nature works by evolution, as opposed to one single ”brain organism”, has both do with the problems of computational complexity, and the Eco-systems inherent need for resilience through diversification.

But in order to diversify the structure of society, it becomes necessary to empower the cells of society, namely the people. This is the only way by which we can deal with corruption in the higher levels of society, be it a democracy, a corporatocracy or an automated production system built out of the best intentions, but still subject to the laws of computational complexity.

The method to empower the people is to give each and every individual the value of his or her share out of earths natural resources. This still means that the earths natural resources are owned and safe-guarded collectively for future generations, but the value of it is shared. This is what I call natural resource sharing, in a similar spirit to file sharing.

The value of each share lies in a promise of access to natural resources. Thus, natural resource sharing means creating a true owner out of each and every human. Even if humans cooperate and create vast systems of production, every human should always have the possibility to break free from the community.

This means that we in effect allow a certain degree of free market, as every person has the right to do whatever he or she likes with his or her value-share of earths natural resources. The share in effect becomes a tradable currency, and therefore a kind of money. The share can be used directly for homesteading. It can be used for trading in a local community, or given as an entrance fee to a larger community that utilizes some kind of automated production systems, and in return delivers commodities to its habitants. The society envisioned by the Venus Project could emerge from this system, but the participation of each individual is completely voluntary.

But even if we allow trade and the special natural resource currency, it is still a system far from todays capitalistic society. Since all people on earth gets an equal share of this natural resource currency, the participation in a competitive market is always voluntary, just as is participation in any non-competitive collective. Individual homesteading and the organization of local communities is always an option with this this system of natural resource sharing, as individuals always can get direct access to their share of natural resources.

As a side note I would like to express that market economy is to some degree misunderstood. The purpose of trade and currencies does not primarily has to be the increased efficiency of a society, as energy and labor efficiency typically rely on centralization and monopolization. But the purpose of a free market could under the right circumstances be the opposite, namely to enhance resilience through diversification. It all depends on the tendency of the market towards either monopolization or diversification. The natural resource currency system will automatically gravitate towards diversification and away from monopolization. This is because wealth is continuously distributed to each and every individual through a basic income system based on natural resource currency.

If nothing else, I believe natural resource sharing is important for the same philosophical reasons that The Architect discovered in the movie Matrix. Human beings desire freedom by nature. If they exist in a system, even a well ordered and rich system of abundance, they would rebel unless there is a choice to either exit or stay in the system. Natural resource currency and the right of each individual to access natural resources directly instead of through a collective, is just such a possibility that is necessary for the human spirit to be at peace.

As a currency, natural resource shares suffer none of the failures that our present currency system has. There is no interest, and there is no devaluation of the currency possible as a result of financial games. The currency is distributed directly to individuals and not created by institutions, avoiding unfair expansion of the currency. Since the basis of the currency is earths natural resources that are common heritage, every new generation gets their own share of natural resources, and because of this it is impossible for the currency to become monopolized over time.

The solution part 2: Individual monetization of future freedom – the male currency

There are more things we could do to increase the resilience of a society. This part of the solution might be less important than the first and probably appears more controversial to members of the Zeitgeist community. But under certain circumstances it could prove valuable. It is a way to provide diversification of the natural resource currency system itself, if that system shouldn’t operate well for some circumstance.

If in some future, there need of natural resources decline at the same time as there is an increased need for human labor for some reason, then the value of natural resource currency would decline making it more difficult for society to operate. For this situation it is important to have a currency system in which human labor could be traded more directly. In order to provide for this situation, society should provide a system that allows people to monetize their future time in an interest free debt system.

This provides a kind of Yin/Yang balance to the currency system. If the natural resource currency is given for free to all human beings, the time currency is a promise of future effort. This is how it works.

All human beings can monetize the projected time left until their death. For example, if a person at the age of 20 is expected to live 80 years, it means a timespan of 60 years to monetize, or 512 640 hours. What is important is that the decision to monetize this time is individual, meaning, no other person can monetize it, and it is a completely personal decision. A person could choose to just use his natural resource currency assets, and ignore this possibility and the dangers it might involve.

In practice, all humans has a credit account from witch it is just possible to withdraw time currency. A person can use this time currency to pay for services or products provided by other people, while at the same time giving a promise of future effort. That person has now become in debt to the collective in general, and in particular the holders of the time currency.

Since it might be impossible to measure an effort made, let alone force anyone to make an effort on a particular task, effort has to be traded against plain time consumption. Most persons put some value of their free time, so what is essentially monetized is your future freedom to use your time for your own benefit.

So, whenever there is a debt that needs to be balanced in the system. The services of the person in question is put out for sale on a labor market. If no one wants to hire the person in question, nothing happens and the debt is allowed to remain unchanged. The balancing of the debt will only occur on an explicit request from society, so the system itself is not imposing the cancellation of debt.

However, if there is a demand for hiering that person for a price that exceeds 1 time credit per worked hour, the indebted person either has to take a job in order to pay his debt, or get a certain detention punishment. The detention punishment is measured in 1 hour per time credit owed to the system.

The detention punishment could for example be to spend hours in a detention center with limited choice of activities. Having restrictions imposed upon Internet usage for a certain time, or even come in a more social form where detainees has to publicly announce their indebtedness and refusal to work. The detention could be harsh, or it could be set up to hardly be considered a punishment at all. It all depends on the current need for human labor in society.

The detention punishment in effect sets a standard for what labor effort can be expected out of time credits. If the job market pay too little for too demanding jobs, people would rather receive a longer detention punishment than to make the required efforts in order to get payed more and become debt free faster. A more harsh or boring detention punishment, will in effect make people take more demanding jobs.

Whatever the detention punishment is, a person needs to be fully informed of what it is before withdrawing any time credits from his or her time credit account. If a person finds the detention punishment too harsh, they should be advised not to monetize their future time, and instead rely on their natural resource share. Once time credit has been withdrawn, the detention regulations cannot change for that particular credit.

But I would again like to stress that time currency is a complementary system to the natural resource currency. It is the Yin out of Yin and Yang. If for anything, this system could be used as a social game meant to amuse the public and allow them to exchange services for social reasons. It is noteworthy that this has already been put to the test. In London a time currency system is used to allow inhabitants meet and engage in social activities, such as helping each other out with cleaning the house or home decoration.

Only if there is a dire need for human labor for the society to survive, should the detention punishment become harsh. For a prosperous society, the detention punishment should hardly be a punishment at all.

We can also note that time credits suffer none of the failures that our current currency system has. There is no interest, and there is no devaluation of the currency possible due to financial games. The monetization is performed by individuals and not institutions, avoiding unfair expansion of the monetary base. Since the basis of the currency is human life, every new generation comes with their own credit accounts, and because of this it is impossible for the currency to become monopolized over time.

The solution part 3: Hybrid direct democracy – enhanced communication

The third part of the solution involves the handling of various opinions in society. While we admit that majority voting is the least desirable if there are others methods to resolve an issue, we still have to face the possibility that some differences in opinion might not be so easy to resolve. For example, the administration and safeguarding of earths natural resources, the organization of the labor market used for debt balancing in the time currency system or the organization of the detention system. Or like we noted previously, democracy could simply be needed when deciding the color of the public library.

At the same time we should recognize that our current democratic system is fundamentally broken. The reason has simply to do with combinatorics and again, exponential arithmetics. If a person holds a number of opinions, and wish to express those opinions through the democratic system. The number of political parties potentially required grows exponentially whit the number of opinions. This is because every political party or organization represents a fixes set of opinions.

In short, the political system today offers the same kind of ”free choice” as a fast food restaurant, offering a small set of prepackaged food. The solution is found in the grocery store, where every person can choose directly from hundreds of ingredients, and compose his or her own food. At the same time as a customer of a grocery store has exponentially more freedom of choice, we can note that the grocery store also sell prefabricated food for the convenience of those who want to buy it.

So, the solution is simply a hybrid system. Where people can allow representatives to use their voting power, as long as they themselves do not vote. It would even be possible to select different representatives having different priority, or assigned to different categories of questions. This is the true essence of democracy.

But we should also recognize that democracy is foremost not a system for voting, but a system for communication. Democracy in itself is a system of communication where the masses of the people can arrive at decisions in an orderly and fair way based upon the varying opinion of the public. And if we recognize that the role of democracy just as such, there is a whole new universe of possibilities to explore. If democracy is a method of communication, we can find ways to enhance the vocabulary of the language being used, for the benefit of all.

For example, communication through only ”yes” and ”no” answers might be cumbersome, so if the community needs to decide on a number. For example deciding on the number of days a certain festival should prolong. Each person could for example state a number directly, and the democratic system automatically calculates the median average value out of all opinions expressed. The median average corresponds to the biggest number that would get 50% support, and the smallest number that would get 50% support, and thus, a perfect compromise.

Another example is that priorities between a number of items could be given directly by the people, and using certain schemes for ”run of voting”, a common list of priorities could be assembled. This will eliminate the need for voting tactics that is commonly seen in todays election common in most countries, where people do not vote for the most preferred choice, simply because they think they have no chance of winning anyway, which in turn creates a self fulfilling prophecy. If every voter could submit their entire list of preferences to the voting system, this problem would not occur.

A third example has to do with time. Even when voting ”yes” or ”no” on a certain issue, timing could be of importance. We do not want a system where one single person could decide on when a certain decision could be made though majority voting, as there is a risk of decisions being bade due to public confusion, unawareness or neglect, rather than public opinion. Therefore it is desirable not to set a certain date when a decision will be made through voting, but instead, let the date of decision depend on the voting activity and balance between supporters and opposers. This can be done through the method of continuous voting.

The procedure is a bit technical, but could be described metaphorically by an hot air balloon standing on the ground representing a proposition. Each person can put a small weight on the balloon to create down-force, or nudge the burner slightly to create an equal amount of lift. Thus, the lifting speed of the balloon depend on both the voting activity and the balance between supporters and opposers of the proposition. A proposition results in a positive decision when the balloon reaches a certain fixed altitude. Strong disagreement or lack of activity gives more time for consideration until a decision is being made.

All in all, the model of continuous voting gives the public a better overview of which propositions could turn into decisions in the near future and therefore require public attention, and it also works as a spam filter as propositions of inadequate quality could be kept ”firmly on the ground” without requiring the attention of the wider public.

In any case, direct democracy is an imperative of direct communication. As the communication of society becomes more direct, through blogs, Facebook groups and messaging systems, democracy in itself will have to evolve. Because for example, isn’t a Facebook group a primitive form of Internet voting?

The Duality Project

The three parts together of the solution presented here, form what I call The Duality Project. The Duality Project stands for natural resources and human labor, organized trough a collaborative communication system. The Duality Project constitutes an outer framework of freedom and equality, in which humans may organize their society in a number of ways.

The Duality Project is to be seen as an alternative to the Venus project, yet it includes important aspects of the Venus Project, such as the view of earth as a common heritage creating a base for a basic income, and the abolishment of a monopolized monetary system which enslaves the population. It is my hope that the Duality Project could serve as a source of inspiration to all people that today put their faith in the Venus Project.

As indicated by its name, the Venus project represents the female aspect of society, meaning collectivism, unification and equality. And if our current society represent the Mars aspect of societies, with individualism, diversification and inequality. The Duality Project aims to strike a balance between the two, aiming at combining the best of two worlds, utilizing diversification for the sake of resilience, and equality for the sake of efficiency. This is the duality.

If nothing else, the Duality Project could be seen as a bridge between todays society, and the society envisioned by the Venus Project. Salvaging certain features from today’s failed society, The Duality Project could help pave the way for a smooth transition.

My name is Robert Wensman, I am a computer scientist from Sweden, and I am the creator of the Duality Project. If you like this idea, please spread it to everyone you know. Join The Duality Project on Facebook in order to start building a better world.

The prototype logotype of the Duality Project represents a balance between earths natural resources and human endeavor, of which the later is represented by shining bright white. The symbol also represent balance between the two dominant political ideas, collectivism and individualism or differently expressed, equality and freedom.

An alternative version of the logotype uses red as complementary color.

Outlook

Even though the Duality Project as presented here is unique, fragments of similar ideas can be seen in our current reality.

The idea of collective land ownership dates back to Thomas Paine and Henry George and his one tax movement. The idea of combining a free market with collective land ownership is also sometimes described as geolibertarianism. Although the name indicates a free market system related to our current capitalistic system, the geolibertarian movement is an odd bird, equally despised by classical libertarians and socialist alike. In present day, The Renegade Economist on the Internet is a strong promoter of land tax instead of labor tax, catching one essential idea behind natural resource sharing. There are also several movements for basic income, especially in Europe where the idea of socialist state elements in a mixed economy has gradually transformed into a desire for both equality and freedom at the same time.

About time currency, several communities for alternative currencies are experimenting with similar ideas. Usually called ”lets-system”, however such system usually does not include the idea of detention punishment and a way of balancing off the debt if demanded. This is in my opinions important elements if we would like to introduce such a system on a larger scale for more serious purposes, and as mentioned, the regulations of detention will indirectly set a labor standard for the currency.

The idea of dual currency systems has sometimes been described by Bernad A Liater, even though I use this term slightly different from Liater. Liater argues that a dual currency system increases the stability of society, as one currency is created out of need, and the other out of scarcity. However, it could be argued, that according to Liaters definitions that both natural resource shares and time currency are female currencies, since they both are created out of need, rather than created out of scarcity. However, because of the potentially destructive debt associated with time currency, I consider it to be more of a male currency.

The Duality Projects ideas about hybrid direct democracy are taken from a grass roots party in Sweden called Aktiv Demokrati (Active Democracy). But there are several other such organizations all over the world that promote hybrid direct democracy.

More about me

I am a person very much interested in improving society, both organization wise and technologically. You can visit my blog and read about some of my projects. I am for example designing a new kind of wind turbine on my spare time. A ”soft blade design”, intended to enable huge scale turbines, as soft structures and cables are more easy to deal with compared to rigid structures. The text is all in Swedish, but there are images and movies that can be universally understood. I am also working on a novel way to program computer user interfaces, called projection programming. Besides this, I am a spokesperson for Aktiv Demokrati.

11 svar to 'Open letter to Peter Joseph, Jacque Fresco and the Zeitgeistmovement'

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  1. Open letter to Peter Joseph, Jacque Fresco and the ……

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

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  3. Re Fact 1 and TZM cybernation:

    It seems to me that perspectives is often misinterpreted as flaws.

    Cybernation is computer automation. For example a thermostate. It will regulate the temperature in your room according to your choice. Without a thermostate, you would have to make all the adjustments by hand.

    There are a lot of things that could benefit from more automatic regulation.

    I think that the perspectives are that the current scarcity-based mentality feeds a competition in politics rather than cooperation. And that means that a lot of things that should be simple and clear solutions has drowned in non-constructive bullshit. A lot of those things could in a future society be automated. No discussion needed.

    I think that the point is that this includes almost everything in todays politics. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a philosophical absolute. Rather, it’s a generalization from a realization that comes from lots of examples from today. Try to find *anything* a politician does today that would be relevant in a post-scarcity world. Not as a philosophical absolute. Just as examples. The few remaining examples could probably be delegated to the professionals in their respective fields.

    (Disclaimer: So far, I just read the first fact-point)

  4. k2 said,

    Klart att The Duality Project ska omsättas i verklighet! Det är bara att dra igång. Varför finns ingen hemsida än? =)


  5. There is now a Facebook group for ”the Duality Project” for anyone interested:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Duality-Project/162791393778799

  6. isenhand said,

    To some degree, I think you are reinventing the wheel here. I came to know the Venus project long before the zeitgeist movement and have worked with alternative Socioeconomics for much longer than that. I also have a computer science background and have a number and disagreements with JF. I, along with a number of other people, have worked on an alternative system that has similarities to the Venus project and much and what you say overlaps with what we have. We have, basically, a distributed system (holonic or multi-agent) where there experts manage the technical aspects of society. We then have communities where people manage their own affairs through a system of direct democracy.

    Have a look at the article section on our site or sending an e-mail (I am also in Sweden).

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  10. Dan Sullivan said,

    There are two very simple economic solutions and one political solution. The political solution is actually primary, as it will lead to good economics.

    The problem with mass-democracy is not how we tabulate preferences, but that the quality of communication between citizens deteriorates with the size of the electorate (just as computational complexity overtaxes computers). The Greeks chose their leaders by lottery, which made the leaders representative of the whole people, but not particularly competent.

    To get the best of both worlds, choose juries by lottery and let the juries choose the leaders. If you want to ratify the jury choices with an election, that is fine. People will learn to trust the juries, who deliberated at length, over their own choices that have been based on minimal attention and mass manipulation.

    Beyond that, if all public revenue came from taxes on pollution, resource consumption and land value, people would automatically endeavor to conserve their usage of those things. Conversely, but untaxing labor and enterprise, people would tend to cooperate more by trading with one another.

    Finally, by eliminating fractional reserve banking, whereby money is loaned into circulation, we can get people out of debt so the economy no longer has to grow to outrun the debt. Growth would be a matter of choice, not compulsion. All new money would be either spent into circulation or distributed on a per capita basis, in such a way as to keep commodity prices stable.

    There are other reforms, like public ownership of right-of-way monopolies and a reduction in intellectual property protections, but the three above are the big three, and will dramatically reduce the need for command-and-control approaches.


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