Monday, 21 December 2009

We're at a crossroads

Here's a brief history of money and intellectual property, however Doug Rushkoff (who put me on to Terence McKenna) is not in his best media format to present his case in my opinion. 

He's evidently under time pressure to pack in almost a millennium of financial history into fifteen minutes. He's a writer first and I think Doug comes across in a much more persuasive (and idiosyncratic style) on his podcasts over at the media squat. He's also more funny when relaxed and mulling over the world than in this video.

I still think it's important because the substance is nuts and bolts rewiring of our economies. Something I've been eager to champion long before the economic crash grasped the stock exchange's new found ability to ventilate and throttle money supply now that credit is the new cash flow (or maybe it always was).

Like Doug, I've a healthy scepticism of the digirati's enthusiasm for free. I think Chris Anderson's free-thinking about free is a bit weightless because it largely applies to the digital aristocracy. That's white boy Gen X'ers like me who get a lot of free services from Google (even though I don't put their ads on here). 

I don't see how Moore's law and free chips can put food in the mouths of hungry people if I'm on a buck a day which is a billion or so people on the planet. Paradoxically they are more prepped for what Doug Rushkoff is talking about because exchanging value is a lot more easier to do with a cart of melons and a mobile phone. But it's still not free of course. Neither is barter but it does sidestep use of fiat currency.

One thing about this spanner in the freeworks thinking is that while Doug might not have put his latest book out on the net for free, as an electronic amuse gul if you will, he's been kind enough to let me read his latest book Life Inc which I think is one of the more influential books that tackles the notion that 21st century fiat currency is an operating system which is past its sell by date. You can check out the reviews and order Life Inc over here.