Rheonomy – Flow Management

What do reputation and currencies have in common? They both exhibit patterns – acting as currency information between individuals and groups.

Eric Harris Braun, co-founder of the meta-currency project, core participant in the open money project, and E. F. Schumacher Society board member posted to the Berkman Center Law Lab:

Eric Harris Braun

Eric Harris Braun

Money, as a medium of exchange, a unit of measure, and a store of value is the primary information system that coordinates the flows of goods and services through the economy.

We might then say: Reputation — as tokens, achievement markers, certifications and many more — is the primary information system that coordinate the flows of trust through the social sphere.

To understand how deeply these two relate, we need a new expressive capacity claims Eric:

What is needed is the development of a new expressive capacity, what could be called a meta-currency language that allows the social organism to organically develop and express formal information systems tailored to enabling and interacting with all the different types of flows that comprise it. We can still call these information systems currencies because they are about shaping flows, or currents. However, these currencies will take on a huge variety of new forms tailored to the kind of value that they are helping to build. Note that this is not a call to “monetize” social well-being. Quite the opposite, it’s a call to understanding that money as currently practiced, inherently destroys many forms of social well being. But formal information systems can, in fact, build social well being, and we are actually quite familiar with them: reputation tokens, formal achievement markers like grades/credits & degrees, certification markers like USDA Organic, and many more. But as things stand, we haven’t recognized that all of these formal information systems are related families in a larger coherent pattern. We don’t see this, because we don’t yet have the necessary expressive infrastructure, the language, and grammars that unify the structure and forms these information systems take.

What do you believe is the intersection or overlap of reputation and currency?

One thought on “Rheonomy – Flow Management

  1. There is an example of this overlap in “trade organization”. For example, for my law practice, I participated in the Apartment Association. The Apartment Association provided services and education for owners of rental properties and their staff and businesses providing services to the apartment industry sponsored the events, gave seminars, and otherwise supported the organization.

    The reason to participate in a trade organization as a supplier is to build a reputation in the industry. You get listed in the materials, meet clients at events and clients compare notes on the quality of your product or service. A good reputation in the trade association translates into new business as potential clients weigh their choices.

    Our task, as stated above, building “social well being”, involves reorganizing the relationships in communities and I think we need two types of reputation currency. We need a way to evaluate new types of relationships and how well they contribute to social well being, and 2) a measurement of contributions to the new relationships that work, to reward the effort of those who developed these new relationships.