Marty Heyman

The Death-Star Platforms vs Co-operation meme is the latest soap-box for the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, academic/punditry division. Uber and AirBnB disintermediate the taxi and hotel industies. They are cold-blooded, VC funded extractive businesses. But we must not misunderstand the re;atove value of their "platform" (the software) in their business model.

There is a fervent hope that, somehow, Peer Production is a democratizing and decentralizing model that will somehow liberate elements of the economy from the grip of Corporate Capitalism.

I've been meaning to write something that lets me use that picture for weeks now. It's from the cover to Fred P. Brooks's The Mythical Man Month and I've always wondered whether these were his mythic beasts or if they were a play on his being a dinosaur in the industry.

Our title is taken from the title of "Today's Must Read" article from my favorite site's list of daily links: Stop Trying to Save the World". The article tells us first to honestly measure what we are trying to achieve when we introduce some vaunted improvement program. Then it tells us that just because the formula within the program that succeeds in the test case, don't assume that it will apply to every other situation.

The Occupy Money Co-operative is getting NY Times coverage as it works its way to actually issuing pre-paid Visa Cards. Drawing smiley-face points from their association with Occupy Wall Street and the Co-operative movement, the initiative paints a comforting picture. I find two things troubling when I go to the Occupy Money Co-op web-site.

Richard Logie of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, talked about Complementary Currencies at work in Aberdeen at a TED conference in Leeds, UK. I particularly liked his life-history introduction. He claimed they were poor but they didn't actually know it. They had a "favor exchange" and the more you knew how to do, the better off you were. Click through for an embedded player for the video

Over 125 years ago, the Populist Movement launched a third party in the US and their most compelling platform plank was "greenbacks," the elimination of the rigid gold standard and a freeing up of the money supply. Here we are over a century later and Richard Nixon freed us from the last vestiges of Gold in forty years ago and our central Banksters have expanded the money supply at the behest of Presidents and their Bankster allies.

The video embedded in the full story below is a session with David Harvey, a prolific author championing Freedom of the City and David Graeber, the Occupy Activist, Anarchist, Anthropologist. The videw is almost an hour and a half and both authors take substantial time to provide context on both the books and their feelings about #occupy. Harvey's book is Rebel Cities and Graeber's is Debt: The First 5000 Years. There is a lot of good thought and support for co-operative action and power.

Go to the full article for the video:

Dave Karoly of the NoBAWC staff was kind enough to share his report on the recent White House Co-op Day. We are sharing the report and a couple of the pictures in the longer body of this blog entry. The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) coordinated the event and was, from all accounts quite a successful day.

Dave's report, unedited other than for format for posting, follows.

This is the title of a worthwhile article over on openDemocracy.net. Written by Robin Murray, a Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (as opposed to my position as Resident Applied Fool at the Manorhaven School of Hard Knocks?) on the state of the "Global Civil Society" in 2012.

Valve is a Software game development company founded by an alumnus of Microsoft. Self-funded, it has about 300 employees. Its first product came together quickly and paid off handsomely. Most importantly, it has no bosses. It is entirely flat. There have been several write-ups recently about Valve in the mainstream (Capitalist) business press pointing out the "no boss" structure.

The Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin just posted an article titled "The Hidden Power of Coops" by Michael Shuman.  It is a glowing report with lots of numbers and good words. The segment is a reprint of a piece of the author's book Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

A lovely TED talk by Frans de Waal on moral behavior in animals. Lots of research into animals that certainly carry over to humans. Their experiments show "prosocial behavior" (as opposed to antisocial competition), empathy and consolation, and reciprocity and fairness in monkeys and other animals. The point is that human morality is an evolved morality many elements of which we share with others in the animal kingdom.

On TruthOut.org, a couple of short video interview segments with Bill Ayers. Very down-to-earth and sensible criticism from which all of us should draw comfort and strength. His point about Revolution is that it probably won't be a repeat of the War of Independence, the French Revolution, or the Overthrow of the Czar.

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