Friday, July 10, 2015

Community Product Development

In a small community determined to develop a livelihood for its own people, use of some combination of a local currency and purchase tracking can help the community figure out directly what may or may not work.

In the local currency space, there is probably further value in blockchain technology, assuming one doesn't expect much coercion, because the blockchain would allow us to assess our local market forces. Again, you need to have non-idiots running things, because with such an open book of transactions, the idiot will be tempted to meddle. I could see arguments counter to this- to just use some sort of commodity money and allow people to transact in anonymity because you want the local market to discover true valuations that people are making rather than causing some sort of false behavior brought on by being observed.

Perhaps a hybrid version of commodity money plus blockchain technology could be developed, in which people a generally using a coin of some worth, perhaps silver, but at various points the blockchain is updated to reflect where the physical coin is. This would mean an accounting could be made, but there would be less of a sense of being identified personally.

The other side of things is tracking what you are using, hopefully without feeling bad about it. Let me use the examples I think a lot of people would want to hide, and some people would just want to ban outright- tobacco and alcohol.

I am just going to assume outright that any community needs alcohol. The big question is how many people can be employed given the local demand, and can the local community help fund complying with government regulations if it is determined that the larger local market would respond positively to the product(s). This is another area where a local currency helps- people using the local currency would be the ones who had helped with start up costs and thus the prices would be significantly lower than what would be seen in the dollar denominated market.

Then there are the sort of homesteader level of things, for which I will use tobacco as an example. It may be useful to plant tobacco- it does have some use as an insect repellent- for reasons besides providing for people's habits. It may further be useful to plant it, but not harvest it officially, instead allowing an informal sort of do-it-yourself system of production, much like what you see among homesteaders. You can get economies of scale for many things, like canning for instance, so a small community will probably be better off building a kitchen that can pass code, and create finished products. There will be, however certain instances in which regulatory costs are too exorbitant- and it is very possible with both my examples.

Additionally, it has been noted more generally among alt-ag types, that harvesting does tend to be the more expensive part. Participation in the harvest, which would likely be more real among the young, and more symbolic among those with high paying jobs outside the community, would be beneficially for a sense of unity. This could also be one small step to reifying liturgy.

These are the sorts of things I could be on about solving. They are certainly things that interest me- I imagine if the trust level is high enough within the community, people would just scan everything they bought into a database- useful for managing their personal stores, but also useful for us to know what products to develop for ourselves.

But instead, we've got people still making excuses to stay compromised with the state. I checked- I blogged about getting the state out of the marriage business in 2007. It is 2015 and there are still both Christians and libertarians who still don't get it, and these are the groups that should, because, presumably they have the principles necessary to understand. It seems like the people who have given themselves permission to ignore me probably spent a little time feeling really sad, and then started spending more of their money and their time pretending to have something resembling Christianity. It has ceased to be what it was, and now has all the hallmarks of a consumer luxury good.

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