Potlatch vs Market Model of the Net

Ewald Pfau (ehp@ear.co.at)
Sat, 03 Dec 1994 15:47:22

RD> From: RDavies@exeter.ac.uk (Roy.Davies)
RD> Date: Fri, 2 Dec 1994 10:19:00 GMT

RD> "the transformation of the Internet from a huge virtual
RD> community into a huge virtual economy may herald the age of
RD> electronic money - and with it, headaches for traditional
RD> banks and regulators." The article refers to Internet as
RD> "that rare thing, a vast market visibly hungry for a fairly
RD> well defined product."
RD> At present far from being a market the Internet is a
RD> sophisticated example of competitive gift exchange, rather
RD> Paper money was originally simply a proxy for the real
RD> thing. British banknotes still carry the phrase "I promise
RD> to pay the bearer on demand the sum of x pounds" (where "x"
RD> is the denomination of the note) with the signature of the
RD> chief cashier of the Bank of England underneath. However,
RD> one unintended effect of the adoption of paper money was to
RD> make hyperinflation possible (e.g. the Continentals of the
RD> American Revolution, the Confederate banknotes of the US
RD> Civil War, and German notes after World War I). China which
RD> invented paper money had abandoned it, before its widespread
RD> adoption in the West, for that very reason.

Following the ideas of an economist the name of whom I do not recall (I once
read a book he published in the '50'ies), so it is a valid assumption to build
upon the idea of money to be "promises".

Following this idea, so, what you stated, comes to me like this:

Q: Which way may I prevent people from engaging themselves into things being
relevant at present?

A: Engage them into quarreling about individual promises on future things.

(sorry, I can not deduce this more elaborated - I am no economist).