EDGE is a new technology being developed to help people give to one another. This could be a gift of money, but since there is already a world of tools available for that, it's more likely to be an offer of help or donation of a material good. It meets an unmet need for people to relate with strangers and friends by actually helping directly, rather than through the form of money.
EDGE is an acronym: Extensible Decentralized Gift Economy. It represents a radical departure from the traditional economy, one which is not founded on the cheapening assumption of Homo economicus. EDGE seeks instead to offer people a chance to interact in a way that is more in harmony with the pattern of unconditional giving that permeates nature.
Life At The Edge
It is ironic that even as the majority of the human population now live in cities, many of us in multistoried apartment blocks in which we don't even know our neighbours by name. Adrift in a sea of loneliness, we have become a homogenized mass of human resources to be tapped and exploited by the superbeings known as 'corporations' - the strange race of fictional entities of our own creation, legally mandated to value nothing but Centralized Money. Even as people communicate with isolated loved ones across the globe, influencing in a superficial sense the lives of dozens or even hundreds of others with every new tweet and Facebook post, so they are in reality merely staring at almost identical rectangular screens, hiding behind these screens from one another and more importantly still from the tragic fates of the plants and animals with which we share this planet.
In the 21st century, we all live at an edge. Scientists are increasingly of the opinion that money-driven activity is pushing the planet's (human!) life support system right to the edge. More people than ever are financially on the edge, one paycheck away from the looming threat of armed gangs of professionals turning them out of their homes. Others are living even more marginal existences plagued by hunger and disease. And yet, there is no shortage of food or houses in the world. The perpetual scarcity of money is re-enacting itself, undoing the natural abundance of nature.
The Edge Effect
In biology, the Edge Effect promotes biodiversity. Edges are the earth's most productive and varied areas, where elements from different systems are at play. The greater variety and possibilities of havesting energy flows back and forth create a richer environment. Coastal zones, for example, produce a disproportionate amount of the world's food. The earth's crust is itself an edge, one which supports all the life we are familiar with. Or think of hydrothermal vents on the seabed, with their amazingly diverse ecosystems.
Global communication has created an unprecedented potential for rich production, cultural mixing and synergy, yet humans are depressed and despairing as never before. In the post peak oil world, we now understand that we must abandon much of the ideology of the virtues of unfettered competition, yet people feel unable to break free from artificially-induced scarcity. As a recent radio show pointed out, money locks us in a zero-sum game in which 99% are certain to come out losers.
The idea of EDGE is to connect givers with receivers, to spread the joy of freely giving and the joy of freely receiving, a way to resist the alienating effect of money and the selfishness of Market Mentality that threatens to engulf our humanity just as it threatens to destroy most of the life on the planet. EDGE may reconnect us to what is truly important in life by helping us acknowledge our dependence not upon money or any of the impersonal abstracted institutions of our own creation, but upon one another and upon the rest of nature.