Wealth a Living Systems Model

Update: Originally posted in 2011. To open up to a different view on our wealth and what we do with it, is so important, that I am reposting it.

What motivates me to run Future Salons is the hope to find, promote and help implement patterns for a future that works for all.

Our current socio-economic system, free market capitalism, is clearly not delivering. US poverty rate went up from 11.3% in 2000 to 15.1% in 2010.

Any criticism of our current system, in many circles, automatically pegs a person in the Communist camp. “Look it was tried in the Soviet Union, and it didn’t work.”

Yes, Soviet style Communism didn’t work; but when that system came crashing down capitalism didn’t win, it just survived a bit longer.

Francis Fukuyama even wrote a book declaring The End of History as parliamentary democracy and capitalism were the only dominant systems going forward. It was plain hubris and a lens on our collective failure to imagine alternatives.

A system that accepts that 10%+ of its population live in poverty, even in one of the richest nations of the world, is not acceptable.

The financial crisis of 2008 is further proof that the current system is not working for us, the 99% majority. Is it broken beyond repair?

In search of alternatives, I found Arthur Brock and the folks at The MetaCurrency Project. They not only envision a new model of wealth but are actively working on developing and implementing it.

I caught up with them in New York at their NextNet Collabathon. Art really opened up my eyes for how limited our view on money truly is. So I sat down with him and we taped the following interview which is an introduction to the big picture of Wealth a Living Systems Model.


Video notes:

  • 1:12 Current systems of sharing values are  inadequate to accurately measure value
  • 1:25 Current economy is based on scarcity and optimized to continue scarcity which is not sustainable with wrong feedback mechanisms that don’t allow to make better decisions
  • 2:30 Better meaning and root for Currency is current-see: Seeing the flow of value. Symbol systems that we create so we can mange currents of value, the flow of value.
  • 3:20 Money as small corner of overall value flow.
  • 3:35 Speculative tradable wealth even smaler part of value, like a cancer needs to be cut out. [One suggestion not in the video: Tobin tax? Update: July 2014 I asked David Brin during our Future Salon about it and he enthusiastically agreed that a Tobin tax would benefit society as a whole.]
  • 5:05 Artificial scarcity of current system
  • 7:01 Explanation of different levels of living system wealth
  • 7:30 To be alive you need a view on all of these levels. All levels need to be
  • 9:30 Level 1 parts of the system, can be divided.
  • 10:30 Properties
  • <11:00 food gets delivered ;-) Smellavition unfortunately not invented yet>
  • 11:30 Level 2: Properties of the system like blood type.
  • 13:10 Level 3: Performance of a system. Ability to run a miracle mile.
  • 13:30 Scarcely not applicable for Level 2 and 3
  • 15:00 We treat everything as fungible
  • 16:00 Performance systems: Miracle Mile
  • 17:00 Level 4: Relationship system. Example: Organic
  • 18:02 Level 5: Evolutionary Capacity. Example: Pace maker. Adapt and change the system behavior. Feedback loop.
  • 19:55 Evolutionary Capacity is correlated to the systems capacity to information handling capability.
  • 21:54 Meta Currency as underlying system platform to create many competing currencies with the survival of the fittest.
  • 24:00 Goal of Meta Currency project is to make it as easy to recognize value as easily as formalizing a new sentence.
  • 28:00 How far are we in developing that platform?
  • Prototype is ready.
  • More details: http://metacurrency.org http://newcurrencyfrontiers.com http://artbrock.com/ where you can find the below graphic
  • 29:00 College degree is a reputation currency. Every credential is a currency.
  • 30:30 Data Flowspace Brainstorming Workspace Document

What would a new cultural understanding of wealth do to shift the current disparities we experience?

Comments 6

  1. Post

    Love this post as it hits the root of our problem. This is mostly a comment test. I can post a comment and can edit it. What about you?

  2. Mark,
    So good to see that you and Art teamed up for a conversation! Solid stuff.

  3. The link to data flowspace brainstorm workspace seems to be broken 😙

  4. Post
  5. Fascinating! I am reminded of _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_, and the metaphor of Phaedrus with his knife. The video presents an extraordinarily revealing cross-section of thought, on what we mean when we talk about “value.”

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