“SUYO” — Simple Undeniable Yank-proof Ownership

Accelerating our unavoidable evolution to a more rational world.

“GNU.hope” - A Back Door Intro

Submitted by zClark on Mon, 20/Mar/2006 - 09:51

Sun Mar 19 17:34:14 2006 – For the Love of Money II

Note: the following comments are extracted from two email messages sent to me from Alan Newman regarding my post - “For the Love of Money”. Normally this would simply be a comment to the original article. In this instance however, I feel that the extent of the comments and responses merit a separate post.


Alan: This may seem strange, but I find the links are a bit confusing. As I follow the look here link for more ideas on how to use the compliments, I found a reference ... which claims anyone can easily view the first compliment from you to RMS, but I can not now find a copy of that compliment to view from any of these links! I know this stuff is never easy to construct, but I'm just pointing out weaknesses I am experiencing with it (not as criticism, but more as a bug report).

ZC: Yes, I say right off that, “Anyone (with Internet access) who wants a copy of the worlds very first GNU.hope (as owned by the renowned RMS) can get as good a copy as Mr. Stallman himself has.” The thing to be remembered however, is that this entire document (showMe.html) is essentially a letter from me to RMS (Richard Stallman). In the above I was simply describing how things would be if GNU.hopes existed. My initial email to RMS (Subject: World's first GNU.hope Gesture) included showMe.html and (naturally enough) a gesture. Said gesture was never signed by its recipient (RMS) however, so the world unfortunately remains without a GNU.hope. My gesture, of course, contained a comment, which in this case is (an example of) a complement.
    It is probably worth restating here that more than anything else, GNU.hope is at base, a simple system of unforgeable undeniable ownership (everything else stems from that kernel). Further, it is absolutely essential to understand that GNU.hope ownership equally needs the ‘take’ as much as the ‘give’. This requirement is extremely important to unequivocally avoid any obscene absurdities where you find yourself in unilateral possession of your taxes, your duty, etc.
    Returning to links for a (completed) GNU.hope; although none exist, other related links follow:
    zrl.asc     - my public key
    1stRMS.eml  - 1st email to RMS
    show2.html  - Intro of idea's ultimate goal
    showMe.html - Full details of idea
    85E756C6-061200.135EA668  -   GNU.hope Gesture

Alan: My most general comment is that I do not find enough incentive to bootstrap the whole concept only in order to reach a place where collective imagination is supposed to figure out how to make it valuable. This is not exactly a catch-22 as much as it is a prerequisite for YOU to use YOUR imagination to make some additional steps in this direction. You need to build further on the idea until it gets over the not-useful-enough-yet state. Of course, I want to help you, and hopefully many like RMS will contribute, but I still see this idea as an idea under development, and not an idea ready for initial launch - where the first responders will kick in ideas.

ZC: The above comment is not only well said, but also indicates an accurate assessment of my (possibly naive) anticipations. Consequently, I will definitely need to consider this input as things progress. Any detailed implementation that fills in all the blanks would however, be more intended as an example of a workable model than a required specification. Anyone would be welcomed to use the completed paradigm as they see fit and it could potentially be enormously successful in it's own right, but it would still not be there to set any kind of formal standard.
    Finally, there is the above phrase “... figure out how to make it valuable.” Might not one as well ask, “How do we go about making a friend's support valuable?” GNU.hopes are always about undisputed formalized ownership. In the case of moral support, the very option/ability to formally award someone visible ownership of your regard may well increase its likelihood to occur (in the first place) while also increasing the thought put into your comments. Now whether a clearly owned and personally valued GNU.hope will ever be treasured and bought by another is a very real issue. However, anything embodied in a GNU.hope would experience great exposure along with the ability to be transferred securely at negligible costs (so at the very least we're seeing numerous new possibilities that never existed in the same way before).

Alan: My next most general comment is that I see two major logistic hurdles (in addition to the most general motivation hurdle described in the previous paragraph). First, I know technology can make generating, receiving, viewing compliments, et al, as easy as reaching into a billfold or checkbook for a coin or piece of paper, but the technology infrastructure is still not ready for this. If this were already fully developed motivationally, then there might be the necessary drivers to complete an infrastructure (I'm thinking something as easy and everywhere as cellphone infrastructure), but I am not confident that the natural progression of technology will drive to a sufficient infrastructure for this…
[then from a 2nd email to better insure my understanding]   … I was referring not to the complexity or sophistication of effort needed to handle GNU.hopes/gestures, but rather the utter ease needed. The necessity of never having to think about it, but always having it immediately available. Cellphones pretty much meet this criteria today, but computers do not. Billfolds certainly do, and work well for FRNs! What will work as invisibly and perfectly for Hopes? Today, nothing. If the Hopes are not better guided to get to where you want them to go (mediums of value exchange), then the technology needed to support them invisibly and perfectly does not have a chance of becoming a reality. I don't care if the first Hope is a desktop computer if that is equivalent to the original bag phones that started the cellular revolution at over 5 pounds, over $2000 and over a dollar per minute of usage. Even then, the pocket sized, universally usable, dirt cheap cell phones of today were predictable based on the a clear understanding of the big-picture need, and a clear understanding of all the existing [negative] issues with the heavy and expensive and short battery life bag phones of 15 years ago. That is, given the cell phone as an analogy of something highly useful, everywhere, and cheap, and understanding the evolution of that technology, starting with… It would be very useful for you to be able to identify a clearer picture of where Hopes are going to be in the future just as the future of cellphone was easily predictable as soon as the base technologies had been integrated into a complete system. Right now, you have *most* of the core technology identified, and a very fuzzy picture of what this Hope technology is going to displace from current money technology, but there are so many questions remaining. How does the core technologies get realized into something as simple and innocuous as a billfold or cellphone? What will it look like and where will you wear it? Is it something every vendor will need to maintain an access point for that is usable by all consumers with biometric ID? ... OK, you don't need to define it, but I can't even imagine it in a useful way such that it will replace or fully augment my credit card or check book. I don't have a full enough understanding of all the motivations that will be strong enough to drive the evolution of the rest of the technology (beyond the crypto and database features you have so far described) to know what it needs to eventually be. However, just asking these questions to you is helping me get a few inches closer to those same answers. I don't think we have asked all the important questions we need to ask!
    Second, the logistics of formulating compliments seems onerous. Certainly not so for something big and important, such as the example of a commitment to purchase a $100 concert ticket, but most certainly too onerous to acquire a beer or a phone call. Obviously, it will take maturation of the system to standardize on simple, and common, and widely accepted compliments that become as comfortable and acceptable as a $5 bill, but I think the path there needs to be better visualized. If you leave it to the collective imagination of all users to get there, then there will be a billion different places which have little chance of becoming any kind of standard. That is, I think the acceptable boundaries or directions leading to whatever end needs to be established up front. Not the precise end goal, but much more than a completely open "lets see where this leads."

ZC: One point that I have obviously failed to make clear is that this vision I am promoting is NOT an issue of technology. It is instead a moral matter. My real problem is not fast and easy accessibility, but breaking through the mental boxes of tradition (to put it kindly). In terms of effecting everyday purchases; the GNU.hope has little to no interest in competing with a billfold, checkbook, coin or any piece of paper. But in terms of thief, loss, or counterfeiting it's a hands down win - there's just ain't no competition.
    “Mediums of value exchange” is a well put phrase and is 100% necessary just as converting gold into dollars is handy. But this is not about replacing or even augmenting your credit cards, check books, or FRNs (although that could happen). And the reason there may be a “very fuzzy picture of what this Hope technology is going to displace from current money technology” is because it's not targeted to ‘displace’ anything. What the GNU.hope is really about is creating monetary value in a way and out of things that puts the current systems to shame in various ways. So from this standpoint the GNU-hope is a mew means to create and maintain a store of value in ways that removes one from the wage slave routine. GNU.hope operates in parallel with other systems and only interacts with them when converting one medium for another. Dollar hours and LETs come the closest to citing and accomplishing the basic main objectives that GNU.hope is dedicated to addressing. Finally, the actual motive (not to be confused with the ideal target audience) for developing this idea was not to provide goodly geeks with a novel way to buy their sugar & caffeine, but for the poor in third world countries to be freed of the burdens and limitations of their national currencies. (Whereas the ideal target audience {at least initially} would be found in the free software world).
    Now lets turn to the perceived need to “standardize on simple, and common, and widely accepted compliments that become as comfortable and acceptable as a $5 bill”. First, this kind of thing would be more applicable to the “voting” potential as mentioned in showMe.html and NOT to compliments. Standardizing “compliments” (probably better called “recognition”) would be comparable to (and about as desirable as) standardizing poems or novels. Moreover, I'm NOT looking to make way for fast, casual, ‘easy as pie’ commentary (I see no lack of that gas as things currently stand). And while the there would be great advantage in simplifying the process for the sake of the computer skittish (i.e. perhaps 90%+ of the Internet users) it is pretty easy right now for the technical types (especially in contrast to the care one would likely wish to exercise in generating a worthy gesture).
    My fascination with compliments/recognition is two fold. First, they are a nice low risk way to start. And if they can be successfully monetized that would really bode well for monetizing hundreds of things that are a hundred times more substantial. Second, sincere recognition would fulfill a gaping “reward need” (both for those like me who feel a need to meaningfully express their gratitude and also those on the other side who could benefit from the appreciation). For those who think dollars are the ultimate way to accomplish this - I respectfully disagree whole heartedly.

Mon Mar 20 03:17:50 2006


formal ownership - enhanced visibility - potential appreciation

Submitted by Alan on Sat, 01/Apr/2006 - 09:24.

You write:

    Might not one as well ask, “How do we go about making a friend's support valuable?”

A friend's support is valuable! You don't go make it valuable. It is, however, hard to quantize the friend's support in monetary terms. On the other hand, a similar level of support from a "professional", say having your windows washed by a window washer is a quantized value determined by the fee charged by the window washer, or negotiated between the window washer and yourself. The biggest difference with a friend is that the quantization score is not kept or tracked or ever explicitly balanced or reconciled.

To refresh the full context my above question was responding to your saying, “… I do not find enough incentive to bootstrap the whole concept only in order to reach a place where collective imagination is supposed to figure out how to make it valuable.” (emphasis added) “Now the only point I was making and you're helping to underscore is simply this: IF “A friend's support is valuable!” THEN a GNU.hope (containing that exact same support) can only be more valuable, since it adds formal ownership, enhanced visibility, and the potential for appreciation. Your point about quantization is quite relevant. And while some ‘social scientist’ want to quantify everything from “pain & suffering” to “fear & worry” in terms of dollars (‘monetize’ as they so irritatingly want to call it) – I do not feel any need to go through the same silly exercise. For instance, lets say some well respected figure in the free software movement has awarded numerous carefully considered GNU.hope appraisals to particular individual efforts which she deems particularly noteworthy. Now if during her last days some foundation (or even her own estate) wishes to offer a respectable redemption on all her outstanding GNU.hopes – who is going to complain or bicker about ‘correct’ evaluations? You simply accept the offer or not. But in either case the personal acknowledgment you received remains, of course, intimately yours and is only enhanced by said offer.

I think the Hope has to get beyond friendship value in order to acquire it's own intrinsic value. If it is strictly a token of appreciation, it will not be able to ever achieve anything beyond collector's item kind of value. How does the Hope get beyond a Thank- you note status? How does it acquire more value than an actual paper thank you note? A thank you note is easily passed around or [sold] but not too difficult to forge, but because the thank you note has so little value to anyone other than the receiver, it is not likely to be forged for any reason, and therefore the added benefits of the Hope is of virtually no added value to serve as thank you notes. That is, the inability to forge, and the ability to authenticate with high certainty, as well as the ease of Internet transfer do not really add useful value to thank you notes. That means the Hopes have to elevate above that value to justify the (minimal) overhead of the security.

The first thing that strikes me is that from its very onset, the GNU.hope concept has explicitly embraced titles to any tangible property, ownership in an enterprises, a voting system, etc. Ignoring that however, I'm happy to focus on possibly the opposite extreme - namely “strictly a token of appreciation”. The two prime things that GNU.hope brings to this arena is 1) clean, quick, serious ownership; and 2) a (soon) huge wide-open GWR database aching to be ravished by droves of indexing schemes. So what does that buy us? Returning to our above heroine. If her careful selection of projects/people to support turns out to be justified, her adeptness at evaluating the value of leading edge technologies will NOT go unnoticed. In other words, at any given time there is a whole complex array of emerging technical ventures. Some will pan out as passing novelties, while other will prove to be transforming innovations. Anyone who enjoys an unquestionable - highly verifiable record for astute technical predictions will be fully revealed in the GWR database. Obviously the standing for such an originator as well as their recipients can only be furthered by such an accurate, impartial and widely available record.

I share a couple of basic beliefs: money would be improved if made independent of government control; and the security aspects of Hopes are important aspects for money to have. I also believe in the genius of the open market to be creative in making unintended value from things. However, I do not see a strong connection between Hopes and a monetary system beyond an unsound theory (unsound due to incompleteness), nor do I think it wise to depend on open market genius forces to provide specific kinds of innovation, such as filling in the specific holes between the Hopes so far defined, and a complete monetary system. That means you (we) still have lots of GROUND work to do! There is still need for initial genius to be added to the platter of that defining Hopes so far offered.

The thing that begs most for comment in the above is that I've never advocated a goal to design or provide “a complete monetary system.” All I'm striving to do is provide a means to realize wealth through the idea of SUYO (simple undeniable yank-proof ownership) which in turn strongly lends itself to monetization. In traditional monetary jargon one main focus is on a ‘store of value’, while the really new aspect is individual ‘creation of value’. For the rest of the pie - consider the burdensome restrictions one has to deal with to participate in financial services; nevertheless there's a endless deluge of service offerings scrambling into this arena. So I do not think it is expecting too much to foresee talent pouring out of the cyperspace woodwork once a critical mass of involvement is gained. Nevertheless, I believe there is underlying merit to the argument “… for initial genius to be added to the platter …”, but I'd see that again as basically a working example (which admittedly may be a fundamental need to address) to get things going. Said example will naturally merit a full post of its own.