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Building Blocks

by rg Tue Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:57:48 AM EST


Diaried at Chris Cook's request

I cannae explain it, but somehow people here aren't quite getting it--whatever "it" is.  

I think they're missing Chris's point and don't see any particular need for these new structures he regularly diarises.

In particular, those who understand "financialese" don't seem to have had any "wow" moments on the basis of Chris's presentations.

So I'd like Chris (or A.N. Otherinterestedparty) to paint me a picture (rather than draw me a diagram) of "just what a new structure might look like", taken from the position of...one of us.

Where "us" means people like "me", average job, no special superpowers, no corporate officerships, no entrepeneurialiste enterprises ongoing, no million quid under the bed.

Okay, in this post (related to this conversation in this diary)Chris proposed that LLPs are part of what he sees as the basic building blocks of The Next Society.

I like the sound of Chris's next society, and I still wonder why ET hasn't grasped this opportunity to build New Society relationships asap.

Of course, I think it has, what with the various...well...I think it has, but not in its organisational form which is old-style: Owner > Everyone Else.

So, as a thought experiment, I'd like Chris to imagine the look and feel of a New Society...media outlet as follows:

a new online newspaper/magazine/media outfit, high on talent and ideas but low on capitalist money cash.  On the web a lot can be done for a lot less moneycash.  So...the owner of this outfit has asked you to design an LLP for her...but she doesn't want all that tech. speak.  She wants to know

--Why should I do it?
--What kind of structure will I be creating?
--How do assets and credits move in this system?
--No, strike that, she says, you'll start talking about wrappers...
--I know you will
--and then you'll say something involving the word corporate, and that makes me think of business meetings...

I'm a sucker for a great idea--and maybe the great idea turns out to be just that: an idea.

They're cheap and plentiful, like chat in a decent pub, but in the morning...

Anyway, what I also wanted to add was a link to Chris's recent diary about a Venture Communist...venture.  It's real (I think).  It says it will save you money while being a definite step towards Better Social Organisation.  It's about getting very cheap international mobile phone calls.  I'd've thought this might be right up the street of some ETers.  

So, if ETers are a "no go" for cheap international calls under a "venture communist" model; if ETers are a "no go" for setting ET for designing a new community structure in the style of Chris's suggestions; then I suggest this shows a key limit to Chris's model(s), because, flipping it round, if it could work for ET, I can think of lots of organisations who could benefit.

But...back to the questions of the owner of the online media outlet.  With colours, please!

Display:
Three diaries from me in one day: Too fuggen many, mate!  I know, I know.  But I'm enthused, and I'll fail to think of anything to write about for the next three months, so that'll even things up.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:58:31 AM EST
I don't claim to be inventing anything, rg.

It's just that the UK government have inadvertently - and for the wrong reasons - given us the simplest economic entity known to Man, and people are doing all sorts of interesting things with them - simply because they CAN - and I observe some of it and try and make sense of it, clearly with minimal success, but you gotta try...

This Diary's origin lies in a reference in Migeru's "Canticle for Leibowitz" Diary to "the Simplification" which is central to the post-Apocalyptic scenario in that book.

For the most part, the "Open Corporates" I talk about do no more than allow people to do what they do already, but more simply.

And many people are quite happy with the existing complication, conflicts and complexity, because they make their daily bread from it.

"Partnerisation" or "Napsterisation" is IMHO a direct consequence of the direct connectivity of the Internet, and is already leading, if you know where to look, to initiatives which will lead to the financial system literally consuming and reinventing itelf.

An "Open Corporate" EuroTrib LLP - the way I see it - wouldn't OWN anything, EMPLOY anyone, or DO anything, but it would serve as a framework for its members - us - to "self organise".

As far as I know, that possibility has never before arisen - we ALWAYS get an "Organisation" which invariably takes on a life of its own, typically as management start to "dip their bread" at the owners' expense.

Here's a new tool in Society's tool-box: what are WE going to do with it?

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 25th, 2007 at 12:28:10 PM EST
it would serve as a framework for its members - us - to "self organise".

Can you think of examples where we--as members of EuroTrib LLP--would be self-organising differently to how we currently self-organise?  Unless there's some kind of "credit/asset" mixing, which the LLP would protect/support/enable...ya see?  I would say your comment above is like the code, and I ('umble me) would like to see some examples of what might happen with the code running.

(Well, really I'd like pictures--for my mind--with colour)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 25th, 2007 at 12:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If ET ain't broke, don't fix it.

It depends on what the key people here - Jerome especially, as the "Founder" - wish to do.

In their shoes, the big plus for me would be the limitation of liability: internet publishers are pretty exposed, particularly ones where radical views are expressed....

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 25th, 2007 at 04:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EuroTrib LLP ... wouldn't OWN anything, EMPLOY anyone, or DO anything
Then what would be the point of setting ET up as an LLP?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 06:29:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chris didn't paint me a picture (boo!), but I can see some non-monetary reasons:

  1. Create a legal framework within which individual members--or groups--could share various (including financial) resources, taking advantage of the mystic benefits of the LLP (or whatever structure is best suited to this "value based" model)

  2. Offer a location for depositing credits (including cash-money) which would be accessible in some way to members who have proposals for how to develop said credits

  3. Following from 2), open some doors to entities outside ET that might wish to start trading some of these credits--I have a vague idea of one such potential agreement, but I'd like to see a better (with colours!) picture of what such working relationships might be like...at present I couldn't really propose the idea as it is (in my head) like the cloud of electrons--I can't grasp a simple model (not a circuit diagram !) (That's an "och aye!" emoticon) that I could use to explain this idea to...other entities.  (An outside entity might be ETopia which could ask, say, for some ET credits--which could come in many forms, not just cash-money--and in exchange it would offer up research findings to ET--

  4. Legal protection along the lines of Pirate Party developments

Those are off the top of my head, but maybe now is not the time?  There doesn't seem to be a groundswell of enthusiasm for setting up a members-tied-in structure...

My worry (for ET) is that although there are lots of talents and energies here, there's no special structure ...ach...that's why I wonder what a minimum size might look like.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 07:37:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's nothing mystic about the LLP, rg.

It's just the first and only (as far as I know)entirely "open" corporate form. Because there is no requirement for a particular form of agreement the members can agree whatever they wish.

If we wish to create a quasi state dictatorship - you vil obey zer orders, rg...or a quasi plc then we can.

And as you say, we could allocate credits or "equity shares" ("n'th's in the ET pie) to members against "money's worth" of time, server space or cash invested. But there would be no guarantee they would ever get anything in return for the credits....

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 08:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1/ Limitation of Liability (if needed).

2/ How the costs and duties of operation are to be pooled between members.

As I said above, if it works as an Unincorporated Association, then don't fix it.


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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 08:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is whether there are things that we don't think of doing because ET is an Unincorporated Association. Would "Open Incorporation" remove a mental block?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 at 11:09:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure there are legal things that we could do (including spreading "credits" of some kind around) that we simply can't do as indidivuals typing diaries and comments to a sole-owned website.

An example would be setting up ETopia and inviting "credits" to be offered (maybe in the form of land-use, skill sets, accomodation, computer services, cooking skills, etc., and also including cash-money of course); I think that "somehow" (this is where I don't understand) these agreements would have some protection in law--and some basis in law--which would mean that, say, you could put in one thousand euros and it wouldn't just be you handing cash out to a mate for a favour.  Those thousand euros could then translate into ETopia credits with some exchange rate agreed by all parties, and then--I dunno, maybe if I came and dug a ditch I could be paid in ETopia credits, but I could somehow deduct them against my current tax bill?  I really have no idea, but I think the idea of the "corporate body" is that it offers not only protection but also a legal space within which to start...heh...an economy.

At present, we are all individuals--in law--and so the laws purtaining to individuals apply.

I really cannae express it very well, I know.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 at 11:26:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This past weekend after our visit to the Falkirk Wheel and a great dinner, Solveig, Chris Cook, PeWi and I kicked around the question of how ET might generate revenue in order to spawn an "ET Think Tank". We didn't reach any conclusions, in fact it seems that the community is inimical to the idea of generating revenue: exhibit A is our decision last year to eliminate the ads from the site.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 06:26:59 AM EST
I don't think that was anti-revenue; it was anti "make your money by taking a cut from advertising", especially since the ads weren't making any money for ET and only annoying ETers (he types, hoping that no one is thinking of bringing them back.)

My preferred model for advertising revenue would be (using an LLP...) to have, say, an ETer enthuse about a product to which they have added some value, and then if said product maketh moola some funds (via the LLP) could work their way back into the LLP...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 07:40:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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