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Great diary -it's been a while since one has stimulated so many thoughts.

I suspect that ET'ers are a mobile lot - I know I am - but my two brothers have been pretty happy to find nice places and pretty much stay there.

I think of "Home" and the fact that there are maybe only two places in my life that I have invested enough of myself in to even think of as "Home".

But returning to the central theme - of a finite world - I think of the need to transition to "Homes" built to last, built for Sustainability, built for "Quality" to draw on Pirsig and Veblen.

But the most resonant train of thought to me - since it is the basis of everything I am working on - is to look ahead to the "post Dollar" society.

 There will be flea markets and private barter arrangements to serve these needs, using whatever local token of exchange is available; bundles of $100 bills, bits of gold chain, packs of cigarettes, or what have you.

Bundles of the current "deficit-based" $100 bills may come in handy as kindling, or even wall insulation, but not much else.

The future financial system will be a generic and networked utility barter/ clearing system (configured around Apache-style web-money servers) with inbuilt credit and a "value unit" as a reference point. Banks will be service providers assessing bilateral "trade" credit rather than credit intermediaries/ creators.

Secondly, it lies in investment, giving rise to units I will find valuable in my travels and my sojourns: property rental units, energy units, even beer units. Based upon a capital market where Banks do not risk a penny of capital in creating secured credit but bring together investors with investments of "money" or "money's worth" such as land, goods and services.

There is a brewery in Germany that pays dividends in beer - why should not a brewery simply finance itself by selling part of its future production at today's price, or a discount, thereby creating fungible "beer units"?

Why should not future property rentals be shared as between the land owners, developer and financier in a way that makes it more "profitable" to develop sustainably than to do otherwise, and thereby creating a pool of property rental units available as "currency"?

Both of which are essentially local forms of value.

But since I'll be travelling, I'll be carrying with me a wad of "energy dollars"  in which I have invested much of my savings - accepted everywhere as units in the infinite global pool of renewable energy production and backed by assets producing streams of renewable energy based on solar, tidal and wind and linked where necessary via HVDC "supergrids".

Travelling light, indeed.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jun 13th, 2007 at 04:53:16 AM EST
Apache web servers will be worth as much as dollar bills are.

You can't run the Internet without urban infrastructure. You certainly can't run a fast Internet without urban infrastructure. And you can't run urban infrastructure after a financial meltdown combined with coastal flooding.

So I'm not convinced that if world currencies go, some kind of OpenPayPal is going to replace them.

Swapping potatoes for carrots might though.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 13th, 2007 at 07:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Swapping carrots for open source internet maybe?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Jun 13th, 2007 at 07:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There will be an Internet, but architected differently to now. Fibre optic cables and WiMax will be the basis of it IMHO. The Apache Money server will sit at the heart of Community Networks funded and operating as "Open Corporate" Cooperatives.

I also see a broadcast overlay, by the way, since IPTV is a complete non-starter. It's fine for one to one delivery eg Video on Demand, but one to many delivery of HDTV - forget it.

An interesting thought is also that using this model it is possible literally to broadcast to consumer set top boxes the static frameworks and periodically updated data major websites.

Turbocharge Teletext in other words.

I call it the "Broadcast Web". See

http://www.opencapital.net/papers/broadcastweb.htm

I spent two years working with a company that delivered television direct to the desktop by satellite broadcast of encrypted data. In order to access the encrypted data, users had to have a "router" box and an internet connection as a "back channel".

It worked brilliantly - I was watching the twin towers fall from my office on my PC at the time.

But it died the death because they got into bed with BT and BT fucked it up (inadvertently, not deliberately).

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jun 13th, 2007 at 09:17:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For intra-urban internet there is no problem, current consumer technology does the job:

http://meraki.net/news/2007/06/03/meraki-introduces-first-solar-powered-outdoor-wi-fi-access-kit/

But that suppose of course someone is still able to build integrated circuits somewhere in the world (solar panel and computer parts), otherwise the digital world will not exist at all.

Note that wifi bandwidth is currently limited by human laws (frequency space for TV, military, telcos, etc...) not by current technology or safety limits.

by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Jun 13th, 2007 at 03:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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