Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Money Conversation

One issue that to me wraps itself into too much of the web is the issue of money, where I decided to pull apart the snarl and simplify, which included figuring out money for myself, publicly of course, as I posted on the subject.

And I came up with my own definition of science, where in the post to which I link I have the final version though I had a start on this blog, and used that to get my own science of money. With my science of money, I could work through to social issues, which got me to the concept of limited social trust.

So it took me about a year, which is really good. Basic research can take much longer, and getting from the start of "science is the art of prediction" to a full definition of science, all the way to a key element of my own science of money isn't bad.

The most important thing I learned is: you should focus on community first.

And I concluded that money is an abstraction best considered to be simply an enumeration of value for favors. But that with the most important things it's not as clear cut how you place a monetary value on them, and with many there simply is no way.

But communities support us anyway. For instance as an American I have vast expectations for community support that I can only realize are as huge as they are when comparing to what too many people unfortunately experience in much more disadvantaged countries.

The web lets all of us help each other though.

So for instance an open source project I wrote can give me a concrete experience of that world community based on downloads, where thankfully SourceForge provides a list of countries, which is invaluable information. Without it, I just wouldn't know.

And anyone can be part of that open source conversation if they can code, and share, regardless of where they are in the world, if they have web access.

Taking the money out of that lets it just be about community. And there is a lot of web structure that is all about community, where a great example of an extremely important developer community for the entire web is the Apache Software Foundation.

But making money isn't intrinsically a bad thing, and as I move from working out my own ideas about money to trying to actually make more of it, I'm wary of losing sight of my principles, so I'm making a post to kind of lock things down.

For the most part I love the idea of transparency, so people always know that there isn't some hidden agenda for making money with something I say. So I'm committed to revealing any and all endorsement deals if those should arise. Now I have none.

To me you make money with transactions, and to me transactions are when at least two parties make a buying decision, where there is consideration given in exchange for a favor. And I posted more opinions in detail here, and money transactions involve some kind of contract.

I think the best contracts are open and well-known where both sides are very clear on what is required of each so that it can be provided with limited social trust. And I really don't like what I call stealth transactions.

And I think that covers everything I can think of for now.

It gets so complicated I think which is why it's worth it to sit down and work as much as I can out. Then again maybe I just think I got it worked out, and as I try to implement best practices based on the theory will discover more research is needed.

All of the above represent my opinions, of course--it's a blog--which means, hey, could be wrong, but thinking about things and talking them out.

James Harris
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