Comment by Arthur Brock
Hmmm... David, I have no idea how you've gotten the impression that metacurrency is about alternatives to debt-based money or even primarily about money. I (with a little help from Google) can't find anything we've ever written that would give that impression. I wonder if you're thinking of the open-money folks who we fraternize with on occasion?
However, I second your concerns about us being siloed. We expect to have a kind of "coming-out" transition February 2010. We have had a bit of a delicate grasp on a vision of currencies as a whole new stage of the evolution of expressive capacities for humanity, life and our collective/social institutions. Nurturing this particular exploration outside of the frame of reference of money and the commercial economy has proven challenging because everyone else seems to want to suck us back into arguments about money. So we've been a bit protective (siloized as you say) inviting people into our core circles of conversations when it has become clear to us that they're able to stand firmly in a paradigm outside of money and exchange (and they've voiced interest in participating).
Actually, we're even siloed internally. The Metacurrency Project is focused solely on developing technology infrastructure for the new open and decentralized economy. We are not addressing philosophical issues at all in that context and simply inviting open source software geeks who already share values of openness and decentralization of power to come build tools with us.
The more philosophical conversations are on the New Currency Frontiers wiki and blog. We expect to put in place a lot more ways for people to participate at our end of January work week when we're all getting together to work on that stuff.
In any case...back to Christina's original topic "...we must find ways to make our old legal structures, our old moral boundaries, and our old economic models irrelevant to the task of mobilizing solutions."
What I hear her saying is that we must transcend the limitations of those old models because most of us can see that they don't yield equitable social, economic or biological patterns nor build a desirable future.
What we're speaking about isn't exactly lawlessness, but it is organizing ourselves according to healthier processes and principles which are adaptable enough to keep pace with today's rate of change. We won't see that come from traditional governance (neither civil nor corporate). So it will need to happen outside such "laws."
I believe that our ability to interact with these processes requires currencies. That in a similar manner that we evolved languages for dealing with objects and relationships between objects (languages like English) we are evolving a new "language" for dealing with currents and flows. A currency is a kind of sentence in this language -- a living, evolving, self-adapting sentence which perpetuates patterns of interaction and behavior.
Most importantly the "solutions" we seek are outside of what we normally think of as the economy. Surrounding the normal Commercial Economy is a much larger Social Economy which it relies on to function. Surrounding that is the larger Gift Economy of all living systems.
Most of the solutions we need to restore healthy balance to humanity and the planet are in these broader spheres where money doesn't reach. Mapping this territory, and dynamic living processes which sustain it, is what we're doing with "currencies."
You can sneak a peek at a presentation about this that I'm working on.