The Best Digital CurrencyNothing Economic happens until two or more people get together to make something useful.  This could be a house, a meal, a friendship, or an education. This has been true since the dawn of civilization and it is true more than ever today. Therefore, the best digital currency must facilitate and “account” for precisely this uniquely human activity – bringing people together in a useful way – not driving them apart. Everything else is a derivative.

The Best Digital Currency

Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets. Curiosumé will rapidly scale and accelerate the matching and accounting for the best digital currency.  Everything else that would be needed already exists.  The working title of this currency is called Gen.  The asset that underwrites Gen is human productivity.

The difference between Gen and the dollar is that the dollar no longer represents human productivity.  Instead, it represents interest on debt, financial exotica, endless war, political influence, unsustainable consumption, etc.  These things are no longer useful to the majority of people.  As a result a lot of “economics” that should be happening, cannot happen. No current digital currency resolves that problem because they are all still derivatives of the dollar.

Gen is the digital currency of TIP (The Ingenesist Project).  Initially, Gen will act as the unit of account between technologists as they  trade Gen among themselves while collaborating on useful projects. For example, a mechanical designer would exchange Gen with a website developer to render a product to a community. Curiosumé resolves the dual coincidence restraint on traditional barter encounters.

As transactions become more complex, the Gen will begin to represent the generalized technological knowledge stored in infrastructure such as buildings, clean water, schools, and farms. Since these things are useful to a lot of people, those people would gladly accept Gen in exchange for their own useful non-technological services that they provide in a community.  In this way, everyone gets what they need using a currency that represents the utility of what they can produce together.

Economic incentives will be altered:

1. To produce useful things that people need.

2. To build high quality things that last a long time.

3. To preserve useful things for as long as possible,

4. To discard things and ideas that are not useful.

5. There is no incentive to cheat.

Don’t be fooled by crypto-hype, the best digital currency is between your ears and only you can hold the keys to that vault.

Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets. The rest of the components can be found in technologies that already exist.  Let us know if you think that Curiosumé would be useful and we’ll build it together.

Money is supposed to represent human productivity; otherwise nobody would work for it (think about that for a second).

Today, money is created from future productivity in the form of debt;  when you take a loan, money is created out of thin air and posted as an asset on the banks ledger.  Unfortunately, the money required to pay interest is never created at all, which drives eternal scarcity.

What Happens Next:

Through the miracles of the fractional reserve system and high finance; money gets thrown into a blender where it is then divorced from the productivity of those who create it, and is converted to exotic financial instruments that bet for or against the future productivity of the future productivity of the future productivity, etc – in both Calculus and Finance, these are called derivatives.

Why does it still work?

So the question becomes; if money does not represent productivity, then why do people still work for it? Well, there is no other alternative to money as we know it.

Then came … and went … Bitcoin;

Bitcoin is all the rage because it behaved sort of like a currency – it had many of the desirable characteristics for the storage, exchange, and unit of account for value. But something about it didn’t sit right with society in general – most people aren’t willing to work in exchange for it.

Bitcoin has 3 fatal flaws:

  1. Bitcoin does not represent human productivity.
  2. The total available Bitcoins were highly concentrated among a very few people.
  3. Bitcoin are speculative in value.

Many words have been committed to these topics so I’ll leave a deeper understanding to the reader to research on their own.  However, we can now ask the question;

What if a virtual currency could be designed that does represent human productivity, is widely distributed among the users, and empowered by those who interact with it?


Consider an Engineering Backed Currency:

Let’s consider an engineering backed currency and the existing institution of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

 Condition 1: Engineering works increase human productivity in the form of roads, bridges, machinery, energy, clean water, sanitation, and generalized problem solving.  A currency backed by engineering would invariably be backed by human productivity thereby satisfying condition #1.

Condition 2:  Suppose that upon paying their 300 dollar dues to the National Society of Professional Engineers, the NSPE Knowledge Bank issues 3000 NSPE Bucks, a virtual currency, to the member so that any member can trade with any other member for the purposes of learning, teaching, and collaboration (don’t worry yet about the technical challenges of doing this).

If any member gets stuck on a project, or they need to understand new technologies, or are looking for complementary knowledge, they can compensate another engineer in the NSPE Technical Network using NSPE Bucks.  Young engineers can teach seniors about new tech, social media, hot mobile apps, and seniors can teach young engineers about nuances of engineering practice, etc., all in exchange for NSPE-Bucks.  NSPE bucks will become evenly distributed thereby satisfying condition #2.

 Condition 3: The NSPE Bucks act as a form of insurance.  If an engineer gets stuck on a project or needs a review of their work or intersects another discipline, they can get rapid and effective support across a vast network of knowledge assets in the profession.  An engineer may be empowered to interact with their peers and innovate in their careers knowing that the wisdom and experience of their peers is mutually accessible.  As such, condition number 3 is met.

Hold on to your seat – this last point will blow you away:

Innovation is the domain of engineering – the two words are synonymous.  People innovate today for the purpose of increasing productivity in the future.  Remember, debt is also a currency backed by future productivity.  Therefore, when you have two currencies that are backed by the EXACT same underlying asset, they are fully convertible on an open exchange.  So NSPE bucks can be easily converted back to dollars or simply traded broadly in a market.

The Mother of All Hedge Funds

As the dollar weakens in scarcity, the NSPE Buck will strengthen in abundance, value will be preserved in the works of engineering that are created. In fact, an engineering backed currency would hedge the dollar as it weaken in it’s ability to maintain infrastructure, build schools, solve climate problems, and provide for the safety health and welfare of people and property.

There is no shortage of work to do and there is no shortage of innovation – there is only a shortage of money.  If Banks can print money out of thin air, why can’t engineers?





Calculus has been called the greatest achievement of the human mind.  Yes, it is a little difficult to understand … until one day it becomes the simplest, most obvious, and glorious form of expression ever imagined.  Like a musical instrument, there is a point where all the symbols and lines can disappear and the artist can express himself or herself in the medium of the art – leading to many more great achievements of human mind.

The Science of Change

Calculus is amazing because it can make the invisible visible.  From sub-atomic particles, gravity, silicon circuits, diffusion of medicine through cell walls, to the discovery of new planets in distant solar systems – none of which are directly visible to the observer, yet their existence enables human imagination, innovation, cooperation, and social development at the most fundamental form.

Changing Wall Street

Wall Street lives quite comfortably in our homes, political system, our food , and our occupations – without being seen directly. Wall Street is utterly invisible.  Most of their work doesn’t even happen on Wall Street.  How did they accomplish this?  How were they so successful in occupying Main Street without being seen?

The Trojan Proxy

Wall Street is a mathematical construct – it exists in the form of symbols and numbers, or, “proxies” for making stuff – but not the actual stuff itself.   That is the vulnerability that we can easily exploit.  If we are smart, we can dismantle Wall Street brick by brick and they will happily walk right through the door because “our door” – the knowledge asset inventory – can be made indistinguishable from any other “proxy” for making stuff.  (I write extensively on this strategy in the prior posts).

There is a bigger message here that I hope does not get lost in the clamor.  There is likewise a very easy way to occupy Wall Street, however, it’s going to take a little mathematical cleverness. How do we make them visible to us and ourselves invisible to them.

The key is that we need to change ourselves. We need to transform, not them.  We don’t need to occupy Wall Street, we simply need to occupy Main Street because that is where they occupy us.  It is not enough to marvel at our numbers, civil disobedience, and cardboard signs.  We need a Science of change so that we can do so.

Engineers are notoriously bad at organizing themselves – or maybe not. 

Engineers tend to stay to themselves and are rarely mentioned in the domains of media, politics, Hollywood, banking, medicine, or law.  Traditional engineering societies are weak and sparse.  Nobody even thinks about paying them royalties for the satellites that carry our smart phone signals.

Some say that Engineers can’t see the forest through the trees.  Others say that Engineers have little tolerance for banter, conjecture, diatribe and all the triviality of mixing with the rest of the world.  Yet, few can argue that Engineers are the ones we all need to show up every day to keep the water clean, the airplanes safe, the code logical, and the law enforceable.

Money is backed by productivity, otherwise, nobody would work for it – think about that for a moment. 

Why would anyone work for something that does not represent what he or she creates?   However, few people notice that productivity is the domain of engineering.  The machines that they create, the bridges that they build, the code they write, and the infrastructure they lay exists for the sole purpose of supporting human productivity.

Whose money is it?

So why are most engineers strangely silent in the emerging discussion about new economies, alternate currencies, and the New Value Movement?  Who are these people and why should we care about them?  I attended a lecture with Charlie Munger, CFO of Berkshire Hathaway who stated in reference to the Enron collapse “it’s bad enough when we lose the accounting profession, but dear God help us if we lose the Engineers”. Charlie cares.

We call them Geeks – but what is really going through their minds?   What would happen if they did organize – or are they already?  Where will they hide all the Value that bankers can’t find anymore? Or has the game already changed? Remember who inherited the hamlet of Hamelin.

The term “Gamification” is pretty cool, except that it is meaningless.  Anyone who has ever worked a day in his or her life knows that the World is already gamed.  Anyone who follows politics and world events sees the game playing out constantly.  Everyone, including the winners, know that the game is stacked.  The last thing anyone needs is another game layer.

If you are like the majority of people on Earth, you are given a game that you can’t win playing by the rules.  If you are like the majority of people on Earth, you would do anything for a chance to play a game that you CAN win.  Imagine the value of an IPO for a gaming company with that prospectus.

What is a Counter Game?

Wikileaks – love them or hate them – is a Counter Game because they turned the lights on a game that was being played in the dark.  Bloggers play a Counter Game because media was editorialized by powerful interests.  Twitter is a Counter Game because it drives the narrative instead of being driven by it. In fact, any place where there is a broker – someone or something that benefits from you NOT having complete information – is an opportunity to introduce a Counter Game.

An astonishing array of Counter Games is forming in social media and the brokers are falling out of the sky like hailstones.  Power brokers, mortgage brokers, energy brokers, media brokers, even Google is gamed by Counter Gamers.  The better they get at hiding information; the better the Counter Gamers gets at rooting it out.  The harder they try to control a message, the better the Counter Gamers gets at disclosing the truth behind the message.

The game creates the Counter Game.

Likewise, to kill the game is to kill the Counter Game. As such, the only way to kill the counter-game is to kill the game. Think about that for a bit…Do we really want to do that?

The Holy Grail of the Counter Game is the global monetary system. Money is supposed to represent human productivity; otherwise people would not go to work to make things that everyone else needs.  The Game has caused Money to become increasingly divorced from actual productivity.  People who produce the most value are exploited while those who produce the least are most grandly rewarded.  The Game is stacked with money.

The Holy Grail of The Counter Game is to replace monetary currency with a True Value Currency.

The financial system stands on 5 pillars: currency, inventory, vetting institutions, entrepreneurs, and value arbitrage. All of these are slowly being replicated, mimicked, or duplicated in Social Media.  When the 5 pillars integrate in social media systems, a new currency will emerge.  People will use it to store and exchange the value that they create through their work. It will be a no-brainer

The Value Game

The Value Game is outlined in this short video using the now proverbial “Corporate Jet” as the turning point in the global economic paradigm.  The Value Game does not kill the Financial Game, rather, it challenges, corrects, and improves it.  The Value game has reached a critical milestone – it has been funded in dollars by investors.

This is not insignificant.

To some entrepreneurs, the problems with the aviation industries signal many insurmountable obstacles.  At  Social Flights these challenges portend an extraordinary opportunity for a new business method to bring efficiency, order, social value while eliminating artificial barriers.

Social Flights value proposition is very strong for travel ranging from 200-1000 miles between smaller airports. Social Flights can deploy quickly in response to specialized market needs, environmental condition, opportunities, or events. Social flights adapts the mission of the aircraft to meet the opportunities presented to the market.

Conversely, commercial aviation struggles dearly in this segment because they try to get the market to meet the pre-ordained mission of the aircraft. The entire air transportation system would be best served if commercial aviation concentrated on the long haul/high volume “migration” service.  There is no reason why private aviation cannot perform the job that gridlocks commercial aviation.  This would make both industries more efficient.

Commercial Aviation’s Race to Nowhere

The Deregulation Act of 1978 in the Commercial Aviation system led to the development of the Hub and Spoke system whereas commercial carriers would fly people from small locations into a one or more large “Hub” cities where they would transfer on to the next destination – usually another hub, or on to the final destination.

Deregulation undermined point-to-point service regardless of market demand, ignoring social objectives of the passengers, having no regard for the final destination of the passengers, and blowing off the “time-value” of their passengers.  Recently, the ever expanding security layer has reached the point of personal privacy invasion.  With the age of the Internet, sites such as Travelocity and Expedia diluted the “service class” market segmentation of the airlines in favor of the “price class” segmentation of airlines.  These forces caused the commercial airline experience to become a deceptive, deeply invasive, and physically strenuous experience.

Private Aviation’s starvation diet

Meanwhile, the private aviation sector has fallen under the thumb of listing agents who tie up the industry behind the gilded walls of Charter Brokerage Houses.  FAA regulation hampers the ability to attract passengers on a per-seat basis, which gives private operators a hugely limited marketing position.  Brokers took over to mark-up the price of chartered flights far beyond the reaches of a mainstream market.

For these reasons, the private aviation sector has had difficulty organizing itself into a self-sustaining cooperative, until now.  In Fact, the smaller the airplane and the more widely distributed the airports, the simpler and more efficient the whole social system can become.

Social Flights changes the Game by Changing the Mission.

What is more valuable, their Influence or their intentions?

The heat is on to discover a new currency

Obviously, money is supposed to represent productivity otherwise why would people work for it?  But, everyone is pretty much resigned to the fact that the dollar – and indeed most global currency – is irreversibly divorced from actual productivity.

No Alternative  Algorithm?

The reason why people must trade dollars is that there is no other alternative, and the computer algorithms that control the value of the currency have yet to tell us otherwise.  That’s it, really.  The questions remain, how, why, and when will people stop working for it and what will they work for which can replace it?

This will not be as simple as living in yurts, trading cheese cultures and tweeting about it. Complex infrastructure like a judicial system, transportation, medical care, clean water, energy and food production rely on a financial system that can capitalize and securitize whatever the replacement currency may be.

Influence vs. intention

The latest twist in the new currency movement is the idea that on-line influence can be used to support a currency.  There is no shortage of noble leaders aspiring to “define the standard” in their own image as a service to the lesser masses who seek their respective place in the great new economic void.  PeerIndex and Klout are the two main players that promote a social score based on influence, obstensibly to mimic the credit score upon which all currency depends.

Bad Influence is worse than no influence

Unfortunately, influence is a flawed measure.  Marketers are the target beneficiaries of such influence which is clearly defined as the ability to get other people to take action on a marketing message. My ability to influence others to buy Twinkies does not an economy make. In other words – influence is a consumption currency, not a production currency.

A far better marker is “intention”

For comparison; today, money is conjured into existance by banks based on the signature of a loan candidate who states in writing their intention to produce enough value by their future words and actions to exceed the value of the currency being borrowed (created from thin air) plus interest.  That’s how debt works.  That “intention” is then capitalized, combined with the intentions of others, and securitized into bonds that finance important social services and institutions that support those intensions.

Likewise, a social currency may be similarly conjured into existence – based on a person’s promise to increase human productivity in the future, not however, to increase human consumption in the future.  The social marker for the next currency must be an intension to produce something, not an intension to consume something.  The real danger, of course, is if we define the next currency as just another consumption currency or whether it can truly be married to productivity.

Obviously, it would be helpful to have an inventory of what value an individual is willing and able to produce in the future since this is the best marker of intensions.  It would be even more helpful if there were a public knowledge inventory of what value people in a community are able and willing to produce together.  I’ll stop here because a knowledge inventory for communities does not exist – and curiously, none of the great minds in Social Media are clamoring to define that standard.

Likewise, that is where the great opportunity for the future resides.

If an IPod is shuffling in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

This is a standard philosophical riddle that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. Alexander T. Jackson, one of the great minds of the 20th century, may have said that, “View points of this riddle differ based on the perceived definition of the word ‘sound’, often confused with the definition of the word ‘hearing’.”

A $300 Ipod is shuffling in the forest and nobody is around to interact with it, does it have value?

This philosophical riddle also raises questions regarding observations and knowledge of reality.  Viewpoints in this riddle differ based on the perceived definition of the word ‘money’, often confused with the definition of the word ‘value’.

To this question, Wall Street would say “Yes”, but Main Street would say “No”. In fact this brings into question the order of how we assign value in our world.

Suppose we constructed the same riddle for any physical asset such as a bridge, house, airplane, computer, car, university education, insurance policy, Marketing Department, tennis shoe, police officer, trumpet, leaf blower, FaceBook, Twitter, Linked In, fungus cream, guacamole, anything at WalMart, etc…..

Value of human interaction

Before long, we notice that the value of nearly all products and services is wholly derived from the value of human interaction with the object.  So where exactly is the true value of our economy, in the object or in the human interaction?   Wall Street would say “object”, but Main Street would say “human interaction”.

Credit Score

In finance, the credit score was established to assess the human interaction with a financial instrument called debt.  Yet, in the above example it is relatively clear that the vast majority of value created is dependent on human interaction with products and services that may or may not be financed with debt, not the debt itself.  It would seem that a social credit score and a knowledge inventory would be more appropriate way to assess the true value of economic activity. But where do we start establishing such an index?

The Social Value Index

We’ll start with a baseline 80/20 rule first identified by an Italian Economist named Vilfredo Pareto.  In our rendition, 80% of the true economy is created in the form of social value and 20% is created in the form of financial value.  Keep in mind that Dr. Pareto also defined a concept called the “Pareto Efficiency” for social resource allocation. This refers to the end-state of an economic game where no player can become better off without also making at least one other player worse off.

The objective then, is to design Social Value Games that are 80/20 (social vs. financial leverage) compliant and Pareto Efficient then, test the hypothesis and improve it toward optimality.

Keep it Simple

I’ll keep this simple because it is simple.  Most people know exactly what I am talking about.  Most people feel that a huge change is underway.  Most people feel deep in their hearts that whatever we are doing today will be different tomorrow.  Most people feel a strange combination of anxiety and optimism.

It’s Time to Change

No, it’s not just a political change or an economic change or even a social change.  All of these, in their simplicity, would not do justice to the magnitude of what is really about to happen.  The forces now in play will resolve to the equivalent difference between the hunter gatherer civilization, and the Renaissance.   The next economic paradigm will be as different as the abacus is from the computer itself.  Yet, the process by which this is happening is so simple, that the mind is repelled.

Factors of Production

In the Industrial revolution, a machine would make widgets.  It did not matter whether you or I ran the machine, the same widget would emerge.

Today, the machine is a computer.  Your interaction with the computer is entirely different than my interaction with the computer.  In fact, you could swap out the computers and our individual output would remain unchanged.

A HUGE difference

Factors of production are no longer the land, labor, and financial capital of Classical Economic theory.  The factors of production are social, creative, and intellectual capital of  people and their communities.

Classical economic theory is breaking down.  There is a huge change on the horizon. The new economic paradigm is in the process of siphoning off the old economic paradigm.  We’re approaching mid-span; both tanks are half empty or half full, depending on how you look at it.

Confidence is a mixture of anxiety and optimism

I can say with great confidence that anxiety and optimism are the correct emotions to be experiencing today.  So go ahead and tell the children in your life that everything will be OK.

Gambling with Jobs

The US Senate recently blocked a measure designed to reduce the outsourcing of US jobs that many corporations pursue in the relentless drive to reduce costs.

Modern Globalization is a system

Globalization must be analyzed like a system. Data, Information, knowledge, Innovation, and wisdom are profoundly related in a system. If you take away one of the components, the others become worthless.  If you destroy one component, the entire structure could fail.

Everyone knows that data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are related.  If I corrupt the data, then the associated information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are also corrupted.  Likewise, if I eliminate any of these elements, the system fails.

Focus on Core competency – what core?

The standard argument for outsourcing is that knowledge workers are better allocated in innovation jobs so “we can better focus on our core – and heck, we can all save a little dough in the process”.  But when we outsource our knowledge economy, the innovation economy is choked off.    The knowledge economy is the source of the Innovation Economy.  The Knowledge economy is also the recipient of the information economy which transforms data and information into useful tools, ideas, and products.

Rate Of Change is Innovation

The rate of change of the innovation economy is directly proportional to the INCREASE not the OUTSOURCING of the knowledge economy.  This is the calculus of outsourcing.  If, on the other hand, it is in you best interest to keep a population poor, weak, and unable to organize into powerful collectives, then yes, outsourcing is an effective method.