EDGE/Experience

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EDGE-experience.png
Currently, there is no working software, so what follows is necessarily a kind of thought experiment. The software as sketched out is deliberately flexible and extensible, so each user's experience would likely be different, just as WWW users have different experiences because they use it for different purposes.

Imagine...[edit]

Waking up in the morning without a fixed job to go to and without a fixed employers. What to do? Each day, just as they sent you tweets, emails and other digital communication, friends could send you notifications that they had things to give you in the real world. Whether goods or services, or just things they wanted to do together, an EDGE/Evaluation could notify you about what they had planned. In return, you could give them gifts. While the Strict Father Model implies that the money system channels goods and services towards those who help others the most, this is a highly moot point and ignores some key realities of Centralized Money. A gift economy system would be uninfluenced by money - people could be free to channel their efforts to help whomsoever they wished.

Offers[edit]

Evaluations with a positive amount are offers, whether of goods or services. Sometimes (e.g. programming, translation or anything else which can be sent in digital form), the location of the prospective giver would not be of importance, while sometimes (e.g. physical goods, invites to parties) it would be of major importance. Perhaps a friend of yours has some fresh fruit they don't need, but they're on the other side of the country. What to do? It would be a simple matter to forward the offer on to your friends, in case one of them was in the vicinity. And so on... So the offers you received could be from friends, friends of friends, or 'their' friends.. and so on.

Requests[edit]

The flip side of receiving is giving, and who of us could be truly happy without the chance to serve someone. Perhaps you get an urgent request for somewhere to stay from a friend of a friend. You might get a request for some hours of help with a programming problem. If you did it, you could enter how much effort it took you, while the recipient could enter how much time your solution had saved them. This would not only provide you with some mental satisfaction, but would likely increase your general karma, such as by inspiring that person (and their friends) to want to help you in return -- not because they have to, but just because human nature is to enjoy giving back.

Deeper Meanings[edit]

In a gift economy, no one carries out such requests for the money -- because there is none! Those who doubt that people would be willing to contribute much time and energy to things if they weren't paid should look deep into their own hearts. Are they as lazy and selfish as Homo Economicus? Or are they just overworked and underpaid and in need of a break. Wikipedia (or Facebook!) show that people do spend a lot of time on things without financial reward - many jobs are intrinsically satisfying, and helping people in need, especially friends and neighbours, is one of the strongest motivations out there.