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The Wall Street Hack

In the first post of this series, we identified the 5 components of a financial system and suggested that Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant would serve to simulate their functions in a parallel economy before ultimately being adopted completely.

In this post we will identify the hack on the Wall Street Financial instrument regime.  Although exoquant is a bit technical, the basic hack is quite simple:

  • Everyone knows that money is created through the creation of debt.
  • Everyone also knows that debt is a promise to produce something more in the future.
Likewise:
  • Everyone also knows that innovations increase human productivity.
  • Everyone also knows that innovation is a promise to produce something more in the future.

Here’s the hack:

Therefore, a currency backed by debt and a currency backed by innovation are both backed by future productivity.  As such, two currencies backed by the same underlying asset are fully convertible with each other.  Water dissolves water and innovation dissolves debt.

Here is how the Wall Street algorithm works: 

  • People produce stuff in exchange for money
  • Bankers do not care about money, they care about the rate of change of money over time.  This is called the “interest” rate.
  • Stockholders do not care about interest rate, they care about the rate of change of interest rate over time, this is called growth rate.
  • Hedge fund managers do not care about growth rate, they care about the rate of change of growth rate over time, this is the margin on their bets; options, and derivatives, etc.
  • CDOs and other financial exotica become increasingly divorced from the fact that people produce stuff for money.

The Exoquant Analogy:

  • The value of information is derived from the rate of change of data over time
  • The value of knowledge is derived from the rate of change of information over time
  • The value of innovation is derived from the rate of change of knowledge over time
  • The value of wisdom is derived from the value of innovation over time.
In order to “see” innovation before it happens, all we need to do is identify and measure rates of change of information in communities…and so on. Technically, this is a derivative, i.e., something whose value is derived from the value of something else.   All of these metrics can be seen quite readily in the Zertify, Gamidox data sets.  Each is a “derivative” backed by the stuff that people produce rather than the fiction of debt.  The ability to predict future productivity is superior with an innovation backed currency and therefore superior to debt forced productivity – often compared to slavery.

The Silver Bullet

Innovation is a magic word.  The hack is true to the Wall Street math as well as American culture.  Anyone running for public office would not attack the proposition of an innovation backed currency.  Therefore, the hack will not trigger an antigen.
 The next and final post, The Currency Hack, will formulate this innovation currency in more detail.

How To Overhaul GDP

Self-imposed exile, or land of opportunity?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period.  Simon Kuznets first developed the concept of the GDP for a US Congress report in 1934.  He immediately said not to use it as a measure for welfare. He later elaborated:

“Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”

Sheer Madness at best

Today, the concept of Gross Domestic Product is vastly flawed to the point where the tail now wags the dog.  GDP now determines what we produce, who produces it, where it is produced, when and how it is produced.  Further, GDP snuffs out vast amounts of intangible value simply because it cannot be measured as GDP.

Global Policy is not enough

Recently, The G-20 meetings resolved to a very interesting point; to redefine GDP by a new set of metrics.  This will be a long hard journey if done solely in the political domain.   However, if we can make a business case for it, the entrepreneurs will jump on board.  Then, and only then, can the landscape change as rapidly and drastically as will be required to turn civilization around equitably and peacefully.

Corporate Policy is not enough

The irony is that those who perpetrate GDP metrics may be those who would benefit the most from dumping it.  In the following article from FastCompany, How Intangible Corporate Culture Creates Tangible Profits, companies who learn to transform intangible assets to tangible value become more competitive over companies that do not.  The article cites Southwest Airlines as the first airline to strip down all “tangible” amenities, yet they succeed by replacing them with intangible value such as superior customer experience.

Policy, Corporations, Culture and Entrepreneurs need to act as one:

Interestingly, the FastCompany article talks a great deal about culture.  They also use the terms; “information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom” liberally throughout the text.  This is very inspiring to us at The Ingenesist Project because we use similar language to design and deploy business methods in industries as diverse as Aviation, Construction, and Philanthropy that readily convert between tangible and intangible value.

For Example:

  • The objective of Zertify is to replace the competitive incentives among communities and replace them with a knowledge inventory that matches mentors to protégé.  Teachers and students do not compete, they collaborate in order to be successful.
  • The Value Game creates an environment where one acting in the best interest of their collaborator, acts in their own best interest of value creation.
  • Our Exoquant algorithm provides a direct relatedness between information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom.

The New Value Movement

When we talk about the New Value Movement, we are trying to specify a new class of business methods that can literally “manufacture” the things that people actually need without any distinction between tangible and intangible.  People need a game that they can win playing by the same set of rules. People need food as much as the need love – there is no walled garden of human needs, except the planet we share.

Then we can measure what people actually produce with it

The New Value Tool

The New Value Tool is a repetitive simulation of The Value Game (described herehere, and here) that may be used to determine in advance the true value that may be created when people interact with each other around a shared asset.

The Social Charter

This should not be too difficult to envision since The Value Game plays out daily in the modern corporation where workers acting in the best interest of the corporation (the shared asset) interact with each other in various departments to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset – this is how corporations create social value; through the employment of people and the social utility of their products.

Obviously, corporations that fail to fulfill their social charter likewise fail to sustain value creation in a community.  Those that do, tend to thrive in the Internet Age. The objective of the New Value Platform is to enable communities to organize, as do corporations, except without the burden of corporate governance or the priorities of outside investors.

Drag, Drop, and Dream

The New Value Tool is simple to use; just drag and drop from the Zertify Personal Knowledge Inventory into The Value Game and see what the Exoquant dashboard tells you about your simulation. It may take some practice at first to see how to make the numbers move, but soon it will become intuitive which scenarios create lots of New Value – and will likely sustain themselves in practice.  Scenarios that do not, will likely fail in a particular community and ought not be ventured to practice.

Community Algorithm

Exoquant provides a very simple algorithm relating the creation of data, information, knowledge, innovation and wisdom that govern the Value Game.  However, the weighting of these elements is a component of the “fuzzy math” that entrepreneurs bring to the game.  The empirical data resulting from the application becomes property of the players (community) as their “Secret Sauce” of value creation in their own uniquely optimum economic game.

On the path to a Social Currency

The New Value Tool May become an important system for analyzing existing ventures for optimum social value creation as well as predicting how collections of knowledge assets in a community can optimize their social value in collaboration with each other.  Eventually, the predictability of the outcomes will improve while diversification of projects will eliminate risks such that a social currency can be capitalized and securitized.

The Value Game For University Outreach

The question that persist for many college and university administrators is what actions must they take to optimize all of their relationships in a manner that reinforces their own value to their community.

The Value Game is an ideal solution for this type of scenario (if you are unfamiliar with TVG, please visit this primer link).  The first step is to identify the asset. The recent graduate is the university asset because they are the customer and the product being advanced.  After all, the life worth of that graduate will reflect upon the institution that prepared them for professional service.

Next, we identify the players that will interact with that graduate over the course of their lives.

A* = The Graduate

  1. The graduate will interact with their Alma Mater
  2. The graduate will interact with their alumni association
  3. The graduate will interact with Their broader community
  4. The graduate will interact with corporations and entrepreneurs

Now, Let’s review each of the relationships and the economic incentives that drive them:

A-1: The graduate relies on the university reputation with players 1,2,3 as an extension of their own capabilities.

A-2: The graduate relies on the influence and success of prior graduates who hold an affinity towards each other in fraternal social networks.

A-3: The graduate will interact with their community for friendships, residency, recreation, and support.

A-4: The graduate will rely on strong and equitable employers / entrepreneur base where they may self-actualize as productive citizens.

Now, let’s review the relationships and incentives that each of the players has with each other:

1 – 2,3,4: The university has an interest in preserving the community because a motivated and educated workforce attracts opportunity far and wide in the form of business, travel, tourism and economic growth (Jacobs Externality).

2 – 1,3,4: Alumni seek to preserve the value of their alma mater because of the direct reflection upon their careers.  It is in their best interest to support the university, it’s graduates, employers and the wider community.

3 – 1,2,4: The community relies on the university graduates and alumni to provide equitable and fair innovations that provide sustainable living standards.

4 – 1,2,3: Employers compete globally for talented, stable and engaged employees and service providers who are attracted foremost by a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and sustainable communities.

Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom

The Value Game is now played by university administrators who direct university facilities, influence, and resources to bringing at least 2 of these four groups together.  Each time there is an interaction, the university will capture the data associated with the interaction.  That data can be compiled to form information which gives the university administrator knowledge about what their next action must be.  University feedback to the community will tell all of the players what interactions create the most social value upon which all players will innovate in their best interest.

As the game continues over time, the university gains the wisdom to understand the values of their assets and surrounding community. The community will act in the best interest of the other players as a means of acting in their own best interest (Social Capitalism).

Data is the ultimate shared asset

Over time, the University will become the physical “Search Engine” for data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in a community instead of just a vetting mechanism for book learned material. The University can now deploy this wisdom to their own internal programs and curricula as well as becoming an external reference source for government, industry, and economic development.

*(The University of New Haven is in no way affiliated with this post except I (the author) am a graduate of the UNH Engineering school (go Chargers!) and needed a realistic example that probably would not sue me – thanks guys)

With Respect To Time

Yesterday’s post “This is what I believe” I make the following 4 statements:

  • Information is proportional to the rate of change of data with respect to time
  • Knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time
  • Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of  knowledge with respect to time
  • Wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation with respect to time

In clinical terms, this is called a “Differential Equation”

I always get a lot of questions about these.  Most people’s eyes glaze over as their expression goes blank with far off images of high school Calculus class.  Few people realize that these relationships are so common and so intuitive that we are all  performing “Calculus” in many of their thoughts, words, actions, opinions, observations, and conclusions about the world around us.

But, just in case there is any doubt about the pervasiveness of differential equations in our culture and thinking, listen to the experts:

***

Move fast and break things” – Mark Zuckerberg

The idea here is that it’s OK to fail because this is how learning happens (rate of change of knowledge) but make sure you do it fast (with respect to time) because the objective is to innovate, not to not make mistakes.

honor your creativity and you don’t ever ignore it or go against what that creative image is telling you. – Lady Gaga

Here she is referring to the proportionality component of creativity. The magnitude of the inspiration (rate of change of one’s knowledge of a matter) is greater than all other thinking moments, but it is constrained in time (with respect to time).

“The Googly thing is to launch [products] early on Google Labs and then iterate, – Merissa Mayer, Google VP

Marissa is talking about Wisdom.  While innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge, wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation.  The speed at which Google can innovate is how Google creates wisdom of what to do next.

***

Here are a few more. See if you can spot the differential equation:

“What Mark worries about the most is the lack of change, the lack of innovation” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

“Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”– Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.’” – Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, Vogue Magazine

All technology starts as a spark in someone’s brain”. – Nathan Myhrvold, Intellectual Ventures (hint: sparks travel at the speed of light)

“As people innovate and learn faster, they help generate new ways of performance improvements for everyone while progressing toward their own higher goals” – John Hagel, The Big Shift

Differential Equations are used to describe a vast array of phenomena in our physical universe.

These include the the forces of particles in motion, diffusion of medicine through cell walls, the decay of radioactive substances, and effects of gravity on bodies, weather, energy, chemical reactions, even the creation of money itself.  It should not be a shock then that bankers, CEOs, politicians, and all “investors” are not actually concerned with money, they are concerned with the rate of change of money with respect to time.

The question now becomes, why would their NOT be an algorithm for human values of knowledge, innovation, and wisdom when there is an algorithm for everything else with respect to time.  

Additional information can be fount here: Exoquant; an algorithm for Social Capitalism 

This Is What I Believe

  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.

Goodbye University Hello Multiversity

I recently responded to the following Question on a Facebook group:

How could a newly established university be designed today in order to be elite? Which features must be included, and which features can be left out?

Subquestion: “What would you include in all dimensions: desired faculty, desired student body, location, graduation, research and tenure requirements, institutional structure and purpose, among other things, and what features would you exclude that are currently prevalent at “elite” institutions such as the Ivy Leagues?”

***
My answer as follows:

Why not go farther, much farther. Teachers would not get paid. Instead, they would hold an equity position the future of their students. Sort of like an inverse pyramid scheme built on knowledge assets – teachers would collect a small % amount from many students and a smaller % amount from their many future students students, and so on (multiplying value instead of dividing value). This would attract a certain type of teacher as well as a certain type of student. It would also favor research and innovation since the promise of stagnant salaries are not attractive in this arrangement.

Why two or three subject minors? How about a 3 platform minors; one in social philosophies, a minor in creative arts, and a minor in sciences. Instead of a “degree” your education would be expressed as a string of code representing each unit of study to form your unique API. Your API would interface with the APIs of your colleagues and teachers such that an algorithm could predict the likelihood that a strategic combination of knowledge assets could execute a particular business plan. Such probabilities would be able to predict and associate future cash flows with such business plans. These cash flows could then be securitized into a financial instrument called an “innovation bond”.

Rich people, corporations, and governments would buy these bonds and the revenues would fund the school. Access to the bonds also provides access to the underlying assets – the world’s knowledge. They would be hugely valuable as a hedge agains a declining fiat currency because, like money, knowledge assets can be deployed to create the things people need. Soon, everyone would become a teacher and everyone will become a student in a new form of capitalism will emerge where factors of production are allocated as social, creative and intellectual capital.

***

There were several interesting responses to this question as well as comments to my response.  Admittedly, I was riffing a bit with my response , but I’ll defend it as follows:  

First, let us not mistake “money” for “value” as a so-called “equity position” can be denominated in either. Second, there are many examples in society that demonstrate my conclusion.  Parents take an equity position in the future of their children, executives across America have a cadre of protege from whom they take an equity position in their careers, and Society accepts levies, and taxes, and buy bonds that fund public education so that future productive generations can support the elderly.

The miracle of capitalization and securitization have created extraordinary levels of prosperity on Earth compared to historic social structuring.  The ability to capitalize and securitize knowledge assets (as opposed to classical land, labor, and capital) is likely the next economic paradigm…if not the only sustainable economic paradigm.  I would suggest that current university system is the aberration, not my comment above.

Goodbye Universe, Hello Multiverse

The Paragon of Capitalism

Capitalism is characterized by the condition where individuals acting in their own best interest consequently act in the best interest of society.  By contrast, Socialism is characterized by the condition where individuals acting in the best interest of society consequently act in their own best interest.

Who are the Socialist?

While America espouses a capitalist system of social organization, the jobs that Capitalists create are contained in corporations that operate much closer to the socialist model of community organization.

In a corporation, employees are motivated to act in the best interest of the corporation as a means to assure their own best interest.  Resources allocation is channeled through ministers who are led by a benevolent dictator responding to the priorities of a family of stockholders.  Tasks are segmented into units of equal pay for equal work. There are limited avenues to advancement. People cannot talk freely against their employer. It is acceptable practice to banish some people for the best interest of the collective.

First Amendment To The U.S. Counterintuition

The opposite holds for the OWS movement – some say the occupiers are socialist, however, the jobs that they create are Capitalist.  There is no benevolent dictator or appointed ministers or hierarchy to allocate resources.  Anyone can join and nobody gets sent to the gulag.  Yet, everyone knows what to do like some kind of invisible hand that elevates an ideal.  Most importantly, there are unlimited avenues for advancement.

The movement was peaceful.

Buildings did not fall.  Mothers did not mourn the death of children. There was no volatility induced on the stock markets, the lawyers stayed in their offices, politicians were relatively unscathed. Those protestors who did suffer are now celebrated in the media, culture, art, music, Facebook, etc.  In short, People acting in their own best interest were in fact acting in the best interest of society.

Reoccupy Wall Street

Now that the movement has been dispersed, and the 89% who still have jobs return to occupy their respective corners of Wall Street.  The global narrative has changed for everything from warfare to environmental protection to income equality.

The products that emerge

Already, mobile apps now exceed CD/DVD sales.  Mobile computing devices will replace PCs. Television sales are going down. Many of us now own our last internal combustion automobile. Social Media Applications are mimicking financial instruments with new systems for trade, exchanges, trust, influence, and value creation.  Allocating social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital rather than the now quaint but hopelessly static notions of land, labor, and fiat capital is producing real value.

Capitalism and socialism are simply two of many different forms of social organization.  People are reorganizing.

Plenty of Work But Where Is The Knowledge?

Millions of people are looking for Jobs.  Meanwhile, employers complain of a chronic “skills mismatch” that prevents them from hiring people or initiating new innovations.

When an engineer is laid off from an airplane manufacturer, a company like Starbucks has no idea what that person knows even though aircraft and milk steamers have a great deal in common from the perspective of the Engineer (both are pressure vessels subject to extreme environmental conditions).

The same is true for a marine engineer, and HVAC engineer, or an electrostatic coating machinery engineer.  Each of these disciplines has far more in common than they have differences.  However, if you compare the descriptions for any of these jobs, they sound like they all happen on different planets.

God forbid you are not an expert on MS Excel, which only takes a few hours for almost anyone to learn – yet not tagging that radio button can negate 20 years of experience that only 1% of people have the desire, discipline, and intellect to achieve.

The same holds true for many talents and professions. There are serious problems with the way that we discern the supply and demand for knowledge assets.

What is needed is an intermediate knowledge inventory in the commons that everyone can index to.  So when an engineer tags “pressure vessels” the term registers into the resident ontology of all observers.

Why is this better?

Of course companies are trying to eliminate variance and risk by hiring a person who has been trained by someone else – preferable a direct competitor.  On the other hand, the mantra of modern business is to innovate.  Innovation does not happen by duplicating yesterday’s ideas. Mixing diverse combinations of knowledge assets, and not all common knowledge assets, accelerates the process of Innovation.  Think of all the music that is yet to be created for lack of musicians to play the different instruments.

An intermediate knowledge inventory solves both problems by allowing companies to introduce diverse knowledge assets without introducing irrelevant knowledge assets.  It also gives people far more mobility to pursue specialties that they are most talented and interested in.  As such, the allocation of knowledge assets would improve to match supply of knowledge with the demand for knowledge in an innovation economy.

There is not a shortage or work, only a shortage of knowledge about knowledge.  

Ideas Travel Where People Travel

Good ideas travel easily and far along trade routes.  Ideas like irrigation, Apples, grapes and wine spread along the Silk Road. The paper and writing spread new ideas leading to increased literacy, the scrapping of old philosophy and the creation of new social orders. The printing press then led the way for today’s mighty publishing Industry.  But don’t forget a simple fact, travel is the substrate of the next economic paradigm.

Ideas: A Chain with many Weak Links

Seth Godin wrote a wonderful article about the publishing industry called The Domino Effect.  He observes that:

1. The middlemen (bookstores) have too much power to limit shelf space.

2.Authors are separated from their readers and don’t have the data to contact them directly.

3. Pricing is based static, slow, and largely irrelevant of content or any form of supply and demand which is of little benefit to the reader or the author.

4. Ideas from books travel much farther and faster than the book itself which does not translate into book sales.

Mr. Godin’s point is that given how important books are, the Chain has many weak links between the author and the audience. Publishing is due for an extraordinary disruption and Seth is going to change it with The Domino Project.  But how many other industries suffer from the same weak-chain syndrome?

Travel: A Plane with many Weak Links

Well, if Books and Travel spreads ideas along the Silk Road, then they must have a lot of other things in common.  If we apply Seth’s observations to the commercial airlines:

1. We see that Airports and airlines have tremendous power to limit gates, times, and availability of routes.

2.  Airlines have no idea why they are carrying all those people around.

3. Pricing is static, segmented, slow, and has very little to do with the actual supply and demand for travel.

4. Travelers are transporting ideas which move faster and more broadly than the aircraft itself and which does not translate into more airline tickets sold.

Where ideas spread; value is created

What is so powerful about ideas?  Most innovation gurus discount raw “ideas” as the useless drivel of idle minds. “Show me the money, not the ideas”, they bark.  If ideas are not innovation, then what are they?  If Ideas are not valuable, then what are they?

The Travel Economy

Travel technologies and applications are being sold for incredible sums of money.  Every airline merger is big news and every geolocation application is huge business.  Travel data is a lightening rod for everything from pricing to privacy.  Social Media applications are getting that migration routes are an excellent marker for “value flow” and therefore, cash flow.  Airline Travel is still the most favored mode political disruption because the links in the economic chain are so weak.  Travel is serious business.

The “New Value” Integration:

Every industry with weak links between production and end use are candidates for disruption in the great integration. Any idea that can strengthen the link in the chain between origin and the destination of an idea is a product of the great integration.  The Social Value creation process and astonishing opportunity will happen at the weak links between origin and destination of any product or service.

***

(Editors note: The above post is #2 in a series [1][2][3][4][5] introducing The Value Game to a new class of business methods.  The first real world application is Social Flights; a collaborative production / consumption game being deployed to the market.  If this works, the new business method class will be generalized throughout the economy to catalyze the convertibility of social currency.  Please join us at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on february 28th 2011 where we will unveil the work to the technology community)

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