A-D ConverterCuriosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets.

The single most destructive characteristic of the Market Capitalism is the dependence on resources extracted from the Earth to fuel constant economic growth. Natural resources are finite while constant growth model is infinite.  There are several ways to manage this disparity; the first is to expire Capitalism, the second is to base that dependence on an infinite resource. Given the shortcomings of most viable alternatives to Capitalism, the latter is likely more plausible than the former.

Many perils to society that manifest today have their beginnings in the thesis by Adam Smith called “The Wealth of Nations”. In this document Mr. Smith outlines the conditions of Capitalism where a merchant class would arise to efficiently allocate land, labor, and capital in various combinations in order to produce all of the useful things that society needs. The working class would hold the system in balance; too much growth would result in a shortage of labor that would constrain capital through higher wages (supply and demand). Government would be hardly necessary in a self-balancing system. Ironically, A great deal of innovation has arisen from the prospect of eliminating labor, which allowed growth to continue beyond the natural constraint.

Karl Marx identified the inevitable situation of constant struggle between the working class and the merchant class. One group strived for greater wages while the other strived to lower wages. From this struggle arose a spectrum of adjustments ranging from labor unions and calculated government regulations (Socialism) all the way to full State allocation of public resources (Communism). Herein lies the dawn of geopolitics and competing ideology.

It is fairly easy to see from this short history where hierarchy, competition, politics, exploitation, environmental crisis, and monetary corruption are intimately related. Today, these elements are enshrined in our culture in B-schools, sports, warfare, education, 2-party representation, etc. The result is that people are forced to compete with each other for jobs, money, food, water, air, education, civil liberties, etc.

But it does not have to be this way. A relatively simple modification to the existing paradigm can realign the economic incentives, and therefore social priorities, from consumption to preservation of our planet without necessarily triggering a collapse and subsequent reboot.

Consider the proverbial “basket of goods” – an economic standard used in a variety of analyses including Relative Price Index, Forex, Gross Domestic Product, etc.  The basket of goods consists of unit quantities of tangibles such as food, housing, energy, transportation, etc.  Now consider the human knowledge required to produce that same basket of goods. One can easily imagine economic standards articulated as either the tangible basket of goods or the intangible basket of goods. Both have the same outcome.

Yet, knowledge is an infinite resource that can underwrite so many more dimensions of human existence than a select basket of goods.  The problem is that there is no accounting system for intangibles as there is for tangibles. There is a reason for this – it is called control. Therefore, to create an accounting system for knowledge assets is to take control of productivity and the currency that represents it.  That is the evolution we ought to focus on.

This is a much simpler challenge than trying to solve every problem that our civilization faces individually. This is a much easier problem to solve than trying to change the minds of entrenched ideologies. This is a much easier problem than changing all the laws and institutions that exist to make the old game as fair as it can ever possibly be.  In fact, the solutions for our most complex problems as a civilization are stunningly simple to create.

Did I mention that Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets?


Conjure valueMy prior post “The Tale of Two Cities” demonstrates that the intangible social value conjured into existence by the bridge that connects two fair cities far exceeds the ‘tangible’ value of that bridge.  Yet, only the tangible value of the bridge is accounted for on a balance sheet such as GDP.

The Conjuring of Intangible Values

This may seem trivial until you observe that people are paid for their intangible assets (knowledge, creativity, and engineering calculations) as a percentage of the far lower number while the bankers, government, and corporate interests compensate themselves as a percentage of the far higher number.  The difference appears to be unaccounted for.

The Tail of Two Cities article concludes that the value that is conjured into existence by both the bridge and the fractional reserve system must be equal, by definition; otherwise the metaphorical breezeway that connects the two worlds would fall.

Bitcoin suffers from a similar curse as The Tail of Two Cities.  The prevailing argument against the crypto-currency is that it has no intrinsic value.  I have personally argued that a currency must represent human productivity intrinsically or else no other human would be willing to work (be productive) in exchange for it.  An article by Paul Bohm “The Value Of Bitcoin is Decentralization” makes a good point that the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is based on the value conjured into existence by increased productivity to society by what can be accomplished with Bitcoin that otherwise would be impossible without Bitcoin.

So if the valuation of a bridge crossing the river and the valuation of Bitcoin crossing the broker both suffer the same curse that there is no accounting system for intangibles, wouldn’t it make sense to solve that problem first  – i.e., measure into existence the intangible value of the Ingenesist – and then release those millions of human intentions (bridges and Crypto-currencies, not withstanding), into the system of trade?  This is the problem that Curiosumé proposes to resolve.

I believe that we first need to solve the under-mining problem that there is no accounting system for intangible assets.  Only then can there be intrinsic value in the conservation of those assets

… then maybe none of this would seem so mysterious.


Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalismapitalism is evolving. Society needs to reorganize itself to trade “abundant intangibles instead of scarce tangibles”.  Then, all the decentralized innovations currently coming online can truly integrate.….and, everything will change.

Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalism:

This 16 minute video describes a method for intangible assets to be made tangible in an accounting system for the purpose of storage, exchange, and creation of new value in communities.

The next step is to create a series of similar videos specifically tailored to each major industry in our economy specifying how Curiosumé would benefit them. That is described in the following document:

Video Proposal

We also seek to reach the community of entrepreneurs who will build the next generation of data visualization tools that will facilitate matching algorithms for communities.

Finally, we will introduce The Value Game and the WIKiD Tools Algorithm with which we may form a new cryptographic currency backed by abundant intangibles rather than scarce disposable tangible assets.

 That is Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalism


frictionThe first line of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper reads as follows: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”  The goal is achieved quite simply by removing three frictions to the exchange of value among people.  

The First Friction:

The Bitcoin protocol goes to great effort to foil the bad players and reward the good kids with game based incentives.  The probable cost of an attack is greater than the likely benefit of attempting to do so.  This wipes out the massive and hugely expensive vetting apparatus of verification, fraud investigators, audits, charge backs, legal claims, and courts. 

The Second Friction:

With the judicial use of cryptography, the BCP wipes out a colossal industry of third party brokerage activity that withholds information about transactions ostensibly in the name of trust, fairness, and privacy.

The Bitcoin Protocol Analogy

The most obvious Bitcoin analog is to Gold; everyone gets this.  Due to the economics of scarcity, miners have an incentive to expend resources in order to add more gold to circulation.  However, as the scarce resource becomes more expensive to extract, the incentive shifts to transaction fees as reward for participating in the digital value exchange.  

Transactions are abundant. There is potentially no limit to the amount of transactions that can take place.  Participating in a transaction today does not remove future transactions from the account balance.  In fact, transactions can be created by anyone at any time, and combined or subdivided in any number or ways.  

The Third Friction:

The social analogy should be crystal clear, if not prophetic.  As Consumption Capital becomes unsustainable, Abundance Capital will emerge as the primary generator of value creation between people.  As such, the strategy for success in the BCP era, is not in the domain of tangible consumption, it is in the domain of intangible transactions.  In other words, everything that we call “intangible” in the Era of Scarcity, becomes “tangible” in the Era of Abundance, and vice versa.  

The New Tangibles:

The tangibles assets of the post BCP era are knowledge, innovation, and wisdom of people and communities of people as an abundant and recurring resource.  The business methods of the post BCP era will require the promotion, exchange, and manifestation of knowledge, innovation, and wisdom among communities of people.

New Factors of Production:

Productivity is in the old economy meant increasing the amount of stuff that can be made a certain amount of time.  In the new, productivity will involve maximizing the interaction of people within a certain amount of time, where the largest denomination is a natural lifetime.  The World According to the BCP is the world that was meant to be, not the world that exists today.


We have an opportunity to propose a panel for one of the most important futurist financial summits in America, if not the World.  The Future Of Money and Technology Summit IV, brings together the brightest minds in financial technology innovation at the beautiful Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco.  This year’s event will be held December 9, 2013

***

Anyone can imagine the worst case scenario for economic collapse.  But we are interested in understanding the best case scenario for the diversification from fiat currency.  TIP loosely envisions a Big Flip; when so-called “intangibles” become the new “tangible”.

The Ingenesist Project is proposing the following panel for FOM&T

A Practical Guide to the Big Flip

The specter of economic calamity is rearing it’s ugly head once again, but for many, the end game came in 2008.  Innovators have spent the last 5 years developing new systems and methods to survive in a collaborative economy.  While community currencies are an excellent representation of material productivity, they are not readily convertible beyond small groups.  On the other hand, innovations such as Bitcoin are readily convertible globally, but are not necessarily backed by material human productivity. What if alternate economic systems used current or future generations of crypto currency to articulate community productivity? Could this combination finally solve the riddle of capitalization in non-fiat money?  Could this combination become the mother of all hedge funds during the Big Flip?  This panel will explore such frameworks for collaborative capitalism in the years to come. 

But We Need Your Help!!!

Please send us ideas about what new innovations have occurred since 2008 in response to the economic crisis – I’d like to mention them in the discussion.

Please send us ideas about what parts are still missing in order for an integrated alternate economy to emerge.

Please send us what innovations – if combined or in some way integrated – would serve a greater good than the sum of their parts.

Looking for fireworks.

There would be four panelists and myself as moderator. While we already have several people in mind, no commitments have been extended, so please also do let us know if you have anyone to suggest for this panel. We are looking for a MOST diverse group specifically targeting as many corners of the ideological spectrum as possible – in just 4 people. 

An amazing summiting experience

I have had the extraordinary opportunity of being invited to speak at FOM&T several times.  As a result, I have met some truly amazing people.  I have seen magnificent careers launched, international speaking opportunities arise, and we have found missing pieces in our own project – all at this magnificent event.  Many of my most trusted tech friends came from this conference. Of course, one relationship leads to another….and that is what is the Bg Flip is really all about.

THANK YOU!!

Please contact me through this site, or Twitter handle @ingenesist

 


When I asked my friend and highly respected Seattle consultant Joe Brewer for advice, he simply says:

“Tell an Epic Story”

Rango is a hapless Chameleon in a classic “fish out of water” tale and unlikely hero who finds himself in a “Dust Bowl” meets “Spaghetti Western” hardship scenario. His only preparation is an active imagination and a lot of luck.

All of the characters are similarly encrusted desert animals doomed to a life of subservience to a central banker in an economy where water is the currency of trade.

The Mayor of the town first appears as an almost spiritual leader who provides his flock with hope that their suffering will soon be relieved on the day when water flows again from the shrine of the Holy Spigot.   The analogy to modern religion is hard to miss.

When Rango arrives and accidentally stumbles upon an act of valor, he is anointed sheriff of the town.  Meanwhile, the mayor is, in fact, the person causing the hardship by secretly constraining the supply of the water so that he can buy up all of the failed farms for commercial real estate development.

Upon providing guidance to the new sheriff, the mayor inadvertently slips that proverbial libertarian battle cry  “whoever controls the water (currency) controls the people.”   This sparks suspicion in Rango, who then ventures off on an adventure with some of the town folk to find out what is happening to the water.

After plenty of twists, turns, predators, mistakes, and a whole lot of ironic/comical symbolism, Rango and his gang finally learn that the mayor simply shut off the valve tapping the Las Vegan water main.  Once Rango’s gang opens the tap, water becomes abundant again and the protagonists meet their appropriate demise (suitable for young viewers).

The metaphor for the real world is a no brainer, for most reading this blog anyway.  Bankers artificially control the currency tumbling communities into bankruptcy, unemployment, and despair.  Meanwhile politicians, corporate interests, and legislators conspire to offer fasle hope to the wallowing masses as each person, one by one, hands over their fortunes and freedoms to the powerful elite.

Of course the plan is foiled when a group of brave citizens form alliances with their previous adversaries acting in unison toward a common goal.  It then becomes readily apparent that an “abundance” of productive currency, such as water, is precisely the solution to ridding desert society of crime and corruption thereby enabling peace for all – not the other way around.

This is the story that I want to tell.

There is a very simple task at hand – find the main line and open the valve.  Human knowledge, like water is constrained behind artificial barriers called “intangible” asset accounting.  To build an accounting system that makes knowledge assets “tangible” will open the floodgates of the most valuable currency civilization has ever known.  Not surprisingly, the protagonists will meet their appropriate demise –  suitable for young viewers, of course.

 

 


Countless examples abound where the forces of INTANGIBLE assets align is ways that allows them to detach from their shackles and float like a gyroscope. Invisible internal forces allow new social entities to organize, travel, produce, and consume seemingly without structure or anchors. Yet they influence the most tangible of assets in their path.

Next Economic Paradigm

The next step is to harness this social energy toward sustainable productivity.  Then, and only, then can we arrive at the new economic paradigm (albeit one that may be largely unrecognizable from what we know of today).

The United States has a skills crisis

Millions of smart, motivated, and skilled people are out of work. Meanwhile companies complain that they cannot find the skills that they need to fill open positions.  Predictably, the arguments rage polarized; companies are unwilling to train, the education system is unwilling to teach, etc.  But I don’t think that is the problem.

A Function of Time

The lag time in the traditional competitive cycle remained the same; measured in months for a marketing campaign, or years with a product development cycle, or even decades as with an aircraft program.  Government is also slow to act with election cycles, public debate, and assorted diversions. Likewise, education system curricula can take 3 to 5 years to go through the release process.

Like car crashes, bubbles pop when the system is too slow to respond.

Meanwhile machine enabled social technology is developing so fast that companies do not have time to respond in competitive manner.  Everything becomes a bubble as companies find themselves playing in a game that can crush them at any moment by any number of forces; financial, economic, political, regulatory, public relations, wiki leaks, Facebook, YouTube, Smart Phones, etc.  Even strategic partnerships can unnecessarily and irrevocably tie an institution to the possible misfortunes of associates, with no prior predictability or analysis – until it is too late.

The Tangibility Of Tangibles

The corporate structure that is supposed to be the MOST TANGIBLE assets that an institution can hold is what effectively nails them to the floor.  The bottom line is exactly that, the bottom of the value barrel.  Companies that cannot see past the bottom line, can only see the bottom – and that is where they are staffing today.

The Value Game

Although developed independently, The Value Game (described herehere, and here) resembles a form of Michael E Porter’s 5 forces of corporate competition – except moving at hyper-speed to generate internal forces like a gyroscope.  Players have neither the time nor the incentive to compete with each other, rather, they compete with a game that produces both tangible and intangible assets in a common accounting system creating new value at an astonishing speed.

Of course, the corporation will not disappear any more than industrial revolution eliminated the agrarians. However, you can bet that the differences will be equally profound.


This reference post serves as an introduction to The Value Game (TVG).   The Ingenesist Project will be posting Value Game Solutions to many specific scenarios that our readers and clients propose.  Having this post as reference will help those new to The Value Game catch up quickly.

The following 12 minute video gives some historical perspective of The Value Game as we have applied to the aviation industry (see SocialFlights.com).  This video also expands the idea to any shared asset and provides important insight as to how to generalize The Value Game across the economic spectrum.

Introduction to Value Games

  • The Value Game is a new class of business methods that manufactures New Value.
  • New Value represents all value that is not normally convertible to U.S. Dollars; i.e., creativity, community, sustainability, resilience, compassion, trust, etc
  • Currently, The Value Game begins and ends with dollars, however, all New Value created within the game is denominated in “social currency” which has no physical manifestation.
  • The Value Game converts between Social Currency and Dollars; i.e., business plans that are not viable in dollars may become viable when social currency is included in the bottom line

Building A Value Game

  • The Value Game starts by identifying any asset, tangible or intangible, that a group of people would share.
  • The next step is to find 3 or more communities that have a vested interest in the asset
  • The New Value Entrepreneur is able to discern which communities and which assets will interact successfully in a Value Game.
  • In general, once a value game is started, it will improve itself since only those who have a vested interest in the asset will continue playing.
  • Players that are inappropriate for the given asset and related communities, will drop out or find another value game
  • All players will eventually find and play value games that correspond most closely to their natural interest and passions.

The New Value Entrepreneur

Just like with any business venture, it is up to the entrepreneur to identify and engage all of the right components required to build any enterprise; this is no different for Value Games.

  • The objective of the new value entrepreneur is to organize three or more communities to interact around a shared asset
  • The interaction among these communities acts to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset.
  • Each community acting in the best interest of the other community is, in fact, acting in their own best interest.

The material that references this post will help identify what types of assets are suitable for value gaming and what types of communities would make worthy participants.

The Ingenesist Project is currently building Value Games for clients in aviation, construction, education,  affinity groups, and social service communities.  Please let us know how we can serve your New Value creation enterprise.  


  1. There is a tiny flaw in Market Capitalism that can be easily corrected
  2. Technological change must always precede economic growth; we are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change.  We got it upside down, that’s all.
  3. Anything that can be made by allocating scarce land, labor, and financial capital can also be made by allocating abundant social, creative, and intellectual capital.
  4. For every dollar of tangible value, there is at least 100 dollars worth of  ‘intangible’ value that is really just ‘invisible’.
  5. The global debt is trivial in comparison to the invisible value that exists with no accounting system to represent it.
  6. There should be no economic incentive for anyone to make anything other than what they are most talented, interested, and passionate about.
  7. Nobody knows everything.
  8. Everybody knows something they can teach any other person.
  9. Students, by definition, hold an equity position in their teachers.
  10. Therefore, teachers should hold an equity position in their students – this will fix a lot of things.
  11. Nothing economic happens until two or more people get together and build something.
  12. Competition is over rated.
  13. Collaboration is under rated.
  14. All monetary things are valuable but not all valuable things are monetary.
  15. There is a perfectly legitimate market for everyone.
  16. A new currency will be the last thing that happens, not the first.
  17. You can’t eat Gold
  18. Information is proportional to the rate of change of data with respect to time.
  19. Knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time.
  20. Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time.
  21. Wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation with respect to time.
  22. If you want to create wisdom, go increase the rate of change of innovation.  If you want to create innovation, go increase the rate of change of knowledge, etc. Now, flip over the series 15-18 above.  See, you’ll do just fine.
  23. Money represents past, present, or future productivity – otherwise nobody would work for it (think about that ).
  24. Therefore, a currency backed by debt and a currency backed by innovation would become the mother of all hedge funds.
  25. Securitization is a miracle of scale if done correctly, a disaster of scale if not
  26. Time is the only valid basis of a currency.
  27. My singular objective and greatest aspiration is to make “intangible” value tangible.  I am confident that my children – and yours – will know what to do next.

Facebook does not produce anything.  Facebook sells personal information to advertisers. This is not to say that Facebook is not worth a lot of money, but it certainly deserves a little perspective.  In order for Facebook to be worth anything, people must be doing things, making things, and organizing things – otherwise, there would be no need for the utility that Facebook provides.

Consumer Value Index

In order for people to do things and make things, there needs to be basic infrastructure like energy, clean water, telecommunications, food,  roads, bridges, and airports.  There needs to be housing, education, and health care.  There needs to be an effective and fair legal system, equitable political representation, and civil decency.

Debt or Human Potential

Facebook adds value to the human productivity potential that already exists.  It is precisely that invisible human potential that seems to be worth most of the money that Facebook commands.  When we estimate a value of 100 Billion dollars for Facebook –  an astonishing 99 times their advertising revenue – we estimate that the market believes that intangible value exceeds tangible value by a factor of 100:1; versus, say, Apple at 16:1 or Google at 20:1

Nothing economic happens until people get together to make something

Charles Munger, CFO of Berkshire Hathaway uttered these deeply foreboding words at a conference at Seattle University in reference to the Enron debacle;

“it’s bad enough when we lose the accounting profession, but dear God help us if we lose the Engineers”.

Suppose a team of 10 engineers designs a bridge that spans a body of water cutting 1 hour off the alternate route for 14,000 people per day (connecting 2 small towns).  Over the 75-year life of that bridge, those 10 engineers are responsible for 380 Million hours of increased productivity. At 25 dollars per hour per person whose time is saved, 10 engineers create nearly 10 billion dollars of NEW VALUE.  As such, only 100 engineers could create the same amount of New Value as Facebook is worth in an IPO.

You are worth what is measured

We need to ask ourselves what is more efficient; making things that act as a proxy for the things that we are trying to sell, or measuring the real value of things that we make.  Perhaps Facebook would be worth 10 Trillion dollars on such a balance sheet.  Maybe Facebook would be worth nothing if true value were in fact measurable. Who knows?

Well, that’s exactly the problem – nobody knows.

Facebook acts as a proxy for human productivity, just like money is a proxy for productivity, but with no intrinsic value itself.  Perhaps this explains their Wall Street convertibility.  However, if we backed Facebook with New Value of human potential, rather than a basket of debt-able goods, perhaps we would not have a financial crisis to deal with, just a value crisis.

I wonder what Charlie Munger would say