Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
If someone is leaving the pool "indebted" (with no realistic possibility to sit out), he/she will be asked to compensate in some way. The Capitol Hill Baby-Sitting Co-op participants were lawyers and other high fruits of Washington, you know.

The scrip/coupon system is an attractive alternative to direct accounting because of no need of checking balances and spreadsheets. So "baroqueness" is a factor in the co-op design. How is your system an improvement on simple bookkeeping?

Isn't it harder to imagine a baby-sitting recession or inflation in a simple bookkeeping system? It is funny then how introduction of "mediator" paper coupons changes behavior of participants.

As any administrative instrument, introduction and control of "wonderful" measures could be managed to do some good for a baby-sitting society, and could be managed to make things more horrible than necessary :-]

by das monde on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 02:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
The scrip/coupon system is an attractive alternative to direct accounting because of no need of checking balances and spreadsheets. So "baroqueness" is a factor in the co-op design. How is your system an improvement on simple bookkeeping?

Book-keeping is book-keeping: you currently either use cash (scrip) or banks. I agree that scrip is attractive in its simplicity, but it is open to counterfeiting etc. and still has to be issued (how and by whom?) and accounted for. Once it's out there its out there. It does nothing to stop the free-rider problem of people issuing scrip, building up debit balances, and doing no babysitting themselves.

Key problems for the lack of scalability of LETS schemes are firstly the absence of a framework of trust. LETS schemes only work with people who know each other, and indeed they are a great way of enabling people to get to know each other and to build trust. Experience is that around 60 members is probably optimal and 150 members is probably the maximum before a LETS scheme either fragments or implodes.

The second problem is that LETS administration - which covers not just accounting but also communication of 'needs and wants', social events etc - is paper based and burdensome. It often relies upon goodwill - which eventually runs out - or upon systems allocating LETS credits to the managers, which typically builds up unsustainably large balances for them which then silt up the system.

That is why there are numerous fragmented initiatives to automate administration and communication - but all of them rely upon volunteers to develop. If automated - and it is simply a matter of the application of an algorithm to balances - the system I advocate would work just as well as any other.

The outcome would essentially be electronic scrip sitting in your mobile phone, and such systems already exist. I could imagine a Babysitting scheme where participants maintain balances on their mobiles periodically updated (the periodic levy and dividend) by Admin through a tweet-style broadcast.

Members could send out 'request for bids' also via tweets when they need a baby sitter......indeed, it's probably already been done many times. They would then transfer Baby Hours bilaterally by text when they come home.

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 05:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, you had already covered my point upthreads. An automatic system then.

It does make the bookkeeping and reading your assets easy enough (as long as you can remember the password and the server does not break down). It moves the risk of counterfeiting from user or cashier to the hacker or the system administrator, but with reasonable precautions (like using open source) should work as well or better from the users perspective.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that with a small closed community as in the example then password and security are not a huge issue, and could be minimimal in view of the major amount of trust already built in.

No third party is going to hack in in search of Baby Hours which they would have no use for.

It's a bit different for dollars....errr...wait......?

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't it harder to imagine a baby-sitting recession or inflation in a simple bookkeeping system? It is funny then how introduction of "mediator" paper coupons changes behavior of participants.

It seems obvious that changing from a bookkeeping noticeboard to something that "looks like money" would change behaviour. In fact, it seems so obvious that it should have already been studied...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2009 at 06:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But money neutrality is an axiom of neoclassical economics so...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2009 at 06:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So neoclassical economics is a crock of shit.

But we knew that already, didn't we?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2009 at 08:07:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series