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March 23, 2007


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Stuart Johnson

Ouch, baby, ouch! Sizzle, sizzle from one who asserts, but not, presumably, crudely. Bump-alicious!

The World Spirit has succumbed to the bean counters’ metrics. This is a good thing, perhaps. No more dictatorship of the silver-tongued, no more aspirational fluff anchored by that morbid liberal arts nostalgie de la boue. Show me your answer and I’ll tell you if it's right.


I read you name Stuart and did a double take. I knew I knew you from somewhere. White Courtesy Telephone, the Trouble Makers of Philanthropy. Stuart your not unbumptious comment is not unwelcome.


There is much more to say here. Metrics are a good thing if they are not abused. The foundation of our thinking about currencies connects with any kind of flow, including moneys but not limited to that.

The questions about metrics and measurement that go beyond the numbers and equations, to how and why they are applied in the world. What are the dynamics of monetary systems and economies? How does a currency help or hurt economic flows? When you look at these questions deeply you will be questioning not only the equity, but the efficacy of the monetary/financial systems that we have.

What I take from Fitts is that we can create new institutions formed from networks of local businesses and individuals where we (the community, the network) create new financial tools and institutions. We can experimentally answer questions posed above and tune the internal flow metrics (implemented with targeted currencies) to respond and maximize signals correlated with community health. Rather than concentrating wealth unproductively, the wealth is spread out and locally managed. We will have the most for everyone to share, the humans and all the living things.


What else to take from Catherine is the scale and difficulty of making a significant change. She tells me that even to do a "design book" for a community, outlining what must be done to put the community on a multi-sectoral path towards an upward double bottom line, might cost millions, before the work moves the practical "to do phase."


But doesn't significant change start small, as a kernel of truth and simple moves in the world. Collectively millions are involved, but it is in small segments with immediate results. The main change is creating an investment space where moves that are good for the whole are rewarded differentially more than other investments, and tapeworm activities are charged against your operation.


How to start small is the question. In what small ways to redirect cash flows from what she calls the tapeworm of tax-driven or big company driven solutions, to the more human scale, face to face communities in which we live? That seems an ideal that unites liberals, libertarians, and small town conservatives. So many of us wish we could get control of our lives and our immediate life-world. Who does not dream of owning a farm and being self-sufficient? Or maybe investing in a farm, so that you at least have the basics covered come what may? Yet we send our money to central banks in NY and they loan it to corporations moving jobs offshore. Why not move the money back where we have face to face commitments? Catherine is no dreamer, but she shares that dream and is trying to pioneer it, with all the tenacity and ingenuity of a former deal maker from Dillon Reid.

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