Direct, immediate exchange

According to the Governor of the Bank of England:

“There is no reason products and services could not be swapped directly by consumers and producers through a system of direct exchange – essentially a massive barter economy. All it requires is some commonly used unit of account and adequate computing power to make sure all transactions could be settled immediately. People would pay each other electronically, without the payment being routed through anything that we would currently recognize as a bank. Central banks in their present form would no longer exist – nor would money.”

—Mervyn King – Governor of the Bank of England

Yet another proponent of Money as the Instrument of Mass Healing and the three steps to Vrijgeld.

Open Enterprise

Good 8 minute talk on the open enterprise.

You see this emerging to a more or lesser extent at an increasing number of organizations (which may be a threat to some of the staff).

Key points:

  • we live in democracies, but we work in (hierarchical) dictatorships
  • [our past stands in the way of our future – side note]
  • open source community have figured out a way to work freely, without managers
  • they figured out to have several thousand people working on billions of lines of code creating billions of dollars of amazing software that run 60% of the internet without a single person telling someone else what to do
  • they have figured out to be fully alive in something that they are passioned about and scale and actually produce value
  • so, why don’t we take the same principles of the open source software world and apply it to the conventional work place
  • it’s called the open enterprise
  • first principle: there is no fixed structure, there are no prescribed leaders, no job titles, everybody has the same job title
  • there is a holarchy, where people move up and down in a hierarchy depending on the situation
  • WL Gore (Goretex) 9000 employees, only one job title: associate (and you own part of the company)
  • there are leaders, and if there are, they have voted them into that position [and they have accepted the accountability and responsibility]
  • you can take that vote away immediately which makes you accountable to actually put some real leaders in place
  • the second principle of an open enterprise is transparency, everything: salaries, financial information. every meeting has an open door. if you show up in a meeting than you belong in that meeting
  • zappos, groupon are making employee culture the most important thing and they are kicking but doing it
  • third principle is that an open enterprise has is that they have a true meritocracy [governed by those who deserve to] of ideas. what that means is that every idea is judged on the idea itself, not who the idea came from.
  • the ideas get voted on and the good ones bubble up and get implemented.

Banken Bonus Battle

Dan Roam doet het rookgordijn dat de superrijken hebben opgetrokken—Miljardairs 50 procent rijker in 2009—glashelder uit de doeken.

A couple weeks ago Dan Roam met with potential clients at an investment bank in New York. President Obama had just announced that he was going to levy a $120 billion fee on Wall Street Banks to recoup money lost in the initial $700 billion TARP bailout.

The bankers were understandably upset. After all, they’d already paid back their share of TARP, but now they were being told they’d have to pay back money that had been paid to OTHER organizations. Huh? Dan admits that angry as he was about the crazy Wall Street bonuses he was hearing about, that still didn’t make a lot of sense.

We taxpayers bailed out the banks, but the banks paid back everything they’d been loaned, plus interest. So why the lingering anger from DC?

Then Dan drew the pictures and (as always) when we stop talking and start looking, things have a tendency to become real clear real fast. See the full story in this clip Dan recorded for BNET / CBS Interactive…

Source: The Bonus Battle (Or: How to make the world mad at you without really trying.)

Open letter to Dan Roam

Dear Dan,

I like your Bonus Battle so much that I’ve reblogged it here.

At the same time I challenge you to open this smoke curtain played out by the plutocracy using banks and government as expendible pawns.

What do you see when you look at World Billionaires Grew 50% Richer In 2009? What image emerges then? What video makes that?

Please Dan, you’re an expert in making complex things and their impact understandable and accessible. Do mankind and planet Earth a pleasure and create another video on what really goes on behind the (smoke) curtains.

Dan, beware of tunnel vision.

Succes en plezier,

Martien van Steenbergen.

Thanks to Anthony Michgels (see below) for bringing my attention to World Billionaires Grew 50% Richer In 2009.

Geluksbedrading standaard

  • Geluksbedrading is standaard voor de mens.
  • Gelukkig zijn is onze aangeboren aard.
  • We spenderen ons hele leven te leren ongelukkig te zijn.
  • Ons mentale model—ons idee van hoe de wereld werkt—maakt ons ongelukkig.


  • Laat het ‘als ik dit heb/ben/doe dan ben ik gelukkig’ los.
  • Accepteer en omarm ‘wat is dat is’ volledig (zoals Byron Katie ons helpt herinneren).
  • Stel een paar doelen of een vurig verlangen.
  • Investeer alles wat je hebt en kunt in het proces en níet in de doelen of uitkomsten.
  • Geniet van de reis.

Srikumar Rao: Plug into your hard-wired happiness

rough transcription of Srikumar Rao’s talk

You do not have to get, be or do anything to be happy.

What you can get, you also can unget, right? If you unget everything, are you still happy?

Being happy is your innate nature.

You have spent your entire live learning to be unhappy.
You have spent your entire live learning to be unhappy.

The way you get unhappy is by buying into a mental model.

Your mental models make you unhappy.

A mental model is a notion of how we think the world works.

We all have mental models, on how to get a job, how to pick a restaurant, etc.

The problem is not that we have mental models. The problem is that we don’t know that we have mental models.

The more we invest in a mental model, the more we think that this is the way the world works.

But it isn’t. It’s just a mental model.

The mental model that we buy into so strongly is that we have to get something so that we have something so that we can be happy.

The ‘if then’ model. If I would get moew money, I could travel and I ‘d be happy.

Key question: what is the particular if you are focusing on?

Think of your life ten years ago. There probably are things you wanted to have ten years ago. Odds are that you probably have them now, right? Where has that left you?

The if-then model itself is flawed. We invest a lot in changing the ‘if’. If I would be a CEO, I’d be happy.

Can you remember a spectacular scene that took you outside of yourself? A valley, a rainbow, a view on the sea. Have you ever wondered why that happened? The reason that happened is that somehow, for some reason, at that instant, you accepted the Universe exactly as it was.

You didn’t “That is a beautiful rainbow, but it’s kind of off to the left, if I can move it 200 yards to the right, it will be ever so much more beautiful.”

The moment you accepted the Universe as it is, your habitual wanting self falls away, and the happiness—which is your innate nature—surfaces and you feel it.

And you know you felt it, because now, after all thos years, you can still remember it.

The problem is that your life, right now, with all the problems that you have—more precisely: all the problems that you think you have—is equally perfect. But you do not accept it. In fact, you are spending all your time, striving with might and main, to make it different.

You are not accepting it. And when you are not accepting it, you are buying into the if-then model and is the model itself that is flawed.

Let me show you steps to get out of that. Because action [blah] our lives to get something out of it, right?

I like to share that action…

Action results in outcome, you would like something to happen.

Actions are within your control, not entirely, but within a large extent.

The outcome is completely out of your control.

Has anyone noticed that when you work towards a goal, some of the time you don’t achieve your goal, and some of the time what you get is the exact opposite of what you wanted?

E.g. guy buys expensive dress for wife to give attention: wrong size, wrong color, etc.

In the western world we define our lives in outcome. Here is where I am, here is where I want to go and these are the steps I have to take to get there. If I succeed, life is wonderful, and if I don’t, I have failed, life is no good, life sucks.

We invest in the outcome, and the outcome is out of our control and frequently different from what we want. We aer ‘happy’ to endure all the frustrations and problems that come with it.

There is an alternative.

The alternative is that you do NOT invest in the outcome, you invest in the process.

The best way to describe that is to quote John Wooden: He’s the only person that made it into the basketball hall of fame both as a player and a coach.

What he would tell a new team, he never spoke about winning. He always said “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” That is investing in our process.

What we do is the exact opposite, we invest in the outcome. This is what I want, oh, I want it so bad. If I get it I will be happy.

Focusing on the outcome is fine, it gives you direction. Investing in the outcome, you make the xxx of the particular outcome dependent on your happiness. And that is a surefire receipe for failure.

Here is where I am, there is where I want to go so this is my direction and then you invest yourself completely in the process. Here are the steps you want to take and you invest everyting into it. If you succeed, wonderful. If you don’t succeed, STILL wonderfull. Because now you have a new starting point, you select another outcome and continue. When you do that you will find that every day is a blast.

E.g. child learning to walk between 11th and 13th month. She sees everybody walking and she wants to walk too. Standing up, falling down, than finally, baby’s first step. Big smile on her face. Then very soon, normally within 24 hours, she walks all over the place.

Imagine that each time the child falls over she thinks “Oh I have failed again, I’m never going to learn to walk. I need to get counseling to learn to walk and to get rid of these feelings of inadequacy and not being able to achieve and fail again.

How long would it take you to learn to walk if you need a counseler every time you fail. That is exactly what we are doing.

The child invests in the process, not in the outcome. What we do is the exact opposite. As we grow up, we lose the ability to invest in the process and we atart investing in the outcome. By definition, the outcome is outside of our control. And if that is where we spend all our emotional energy, we are going to get drained as we do.

But if, on the other had, we said: “Here are the outcomes. I am going to invest in the process and give it every single bit I can.”, every day is a blast, and you are well on your way to achieve the vision that I outlined to you.

The question that I get all the time is “But sir Rao, nothing gets me passionate.” And I say “What would?” And they invariably come with list of how their boss, spouse, customers, colleagues are, how big the office is, how much they travel, how deep the carpet is, how many windows there are. A bunch of parameters.

All of that stuff… First of all, it doesn’t exist. Second, even if it did and you were plugged into it, it would not take more than six months for you to be the same misserable sorry yourself there as you are now.

Because passion exists inside you. It does not exist in the job. And if you don’t find a way to ignite it, within you, right where you are, you are not going to find it outside.

But if you do find a way to ignite it where you are, then you will find that the external world rearranges itself to accomodate the person that you are becoming. And as you do that, you will find that miracles happen on a regular basis, new persons come up who you are delighted to meet, people enter your life, it is just a breeze.

Because all you do in your life is, you take journeys. You came here to this conference on a journey. You hang around the watercooler telling how terrible your workplace is, you went on a journey. You watch Desperate Houswives, you are on a journey.

Nothing wrong with that, but aks yourself “Is this the journey I want to take? Does this journey take me to a place I want to spend time?”

If you start doing that, you will find that your life changes. The kind of people you meet, the kind of things you talk about, the movies you go to, the books you read. Everything changes.

You begin all of that by focusing on the process. Invest in the process, not in the outcome.

Thank you.

Flow money

Compound positive interest is a system wide exponential pump that increasingly flushes money from the poor to the rich. It compells us to grow beyond sense. It results in Obsessive Compulsary Growth Disorder, if you will.

This can be proven by mathematics, simulation and experience (as we all feel right now).

Don’t get me wrong, development, unfolding, and evolving is good. But only asymptotic s-curved growth, not only exponential unlimited growth. Just take a look at the impossible hamster.

If you want to destroy a community, introduce a monetary system where money can be owned (hoarded and ‘saved’) and with compound positive interest. Introduce it in such a way, that people are willing and able, eager even, to play this system. Mankind has succeeded in that.

Our current monetary system is like a cancer with metastasis into the smallest corners of our system. It cannot be treated. No irradiation, and no cutting will help. In fact, it will only fuel its self-destruction. Future monetary crises and crashes will happen more frequent, faster and will be deeper. The worst has yet to come, Schopenhauer would say.

Compound positive interest also makes each and everyone extremely short-sighted. The economy at large warps itself into short-term profits and utter efficiency. Exact the opposite of sustainability, durability and long-term wealth and richness—in the non-financial meaning.

It’s extreme focus on efficiency makes the system as a whole brittle and oversensitive, allergic even to small changes. Flourishing systems have their dynamic balance somewhere in the middle between chaos and order—chaordic—with a slight preference for the chaotic side. Chaos is creativity searching for order. Likewise, order (efficiency) is destructivity searching for chaos. The sweet spot is an area (not a point) in the middle, nudged slightly towards chaos.

This short-sightedness is due to the economist’s Net Present Value calculations. Suppose you invest €1,000 to obtain an annual revenue of €100 during a period of 15 years, so €1,500 in total. You may think that this results in a profit of €500…

An economist however will tell you that €100 in a year will be worth €91 now (with an interest rate of 10%). The €100 in year 2 will be worth €83 now and €75 in year 3 , and so forth. The €100 in year 15 is worth a meager €24 now. All in all, in 15 years, the total Net Present Value of the revenue will be €761, resulting in a loss of €239. In other words, not a profitable investment—the red line in the graph below.

This affects our behaviour to short-term financial gains and an obsessive compulsive focus on efficiency and profit. Combined with the interest pump from poor to rich, this leads to a structurally instable and brittle system.

Enter ‘flow money’

Flow money—a.k.a. ‘demurrage’ or liquidity tax—is, technically, a negative compound interest. Using exactly the same calculations and formulas as our economist did in the previous example and with an interest of –10%, the first €100 is worth €111 now, the 2nd €123 and the 15th €486, adding up to a total of €3,857 and a profit of €2,857! Break even is during year 7. The green line in the graph above.

Together with the effect that your balance trickles away (into a larger commons fund), this affects our behaviour in such a way that we will:

  1. tend to spend our money sooner rather than later since our buying power now is greater than later, resulting in a lot of employment opportunities, no more unemployed; and we’ll chop the forest later rather than now, since we don’t want the money now as it will seep away;
  2. prefer sustainable, durable, resilient and long-term projects over short-term ones; it gives all of us vision; we can see clearly now;
  3. close the gap between the rich and the poor; in fact there are only wealthy people and some very wealthy people; and our planet replenishes itself too.

If we can also get rid of the capacity to ‘own’ or hoard money, and we only use money for payment and measuring products and services, than no one is poor. Better still, everyone is rich.

Use money just like we use centimeters. We’re never short of centimers (or inches or lightyears for that matter). Everyone is as wealthy as their activity in the community, small and large.

A fully digital giral value system with flow money combined with a dynamic trustspace comes to a neigbourhood near you soon.

The “Soul Hypothesis”

Deepak Chopra salvo’s another interesting round of points on religion, science, God, Einstein, and such.

Make room for thougth. A couple of key points:

  • Atheism is a weak position in terms of science simply becasue it lacks any system of proof—trying to prove that something doesn’t exist is nearly impossible.
  • What would it be like to experimentally prove that the soul exists? If you believe in it, start collecting evidence.
  • The list of soul qualities is a familiar one:
    • The soul is your connection to God or the divine—test: Are you connected to God and the divine?
    • The soul is the source of existence—test: Have you experienced your source?
    • The soul is the seat of bliss or eternal happiness—test: Can happiness be reached beyond everyday pleasure and pain?
    • The soul exists beyond death; it is the seed of immortality—test: Is there such a thing as inner being that is beyond death? Am I going to live beyond the body?
  • Faith and doubt, the two forced choices that millions of people make, turn out to be almost equally fruitless.

Make some progress, where spiritual progress is defined more simply and clearly if the following conditions are met:

  1. Your soul becomes more real.
  2. Your soul becomes more useful.
  3. Your vision of transformation is coming true.

And some key differences between the ego and the soul:

  1. The ego seeks temporary satisfaction, the soul offers permanent satisfaction.
  2. The ego seeks happiness through externals, the soul through inner unfoldment.
  3. The ego wants constant sensation, the soul provides silent peace.
  4. The ego desperately wants to survive, the soul knows it will never die.
  5. The ego competes, the soul cooperates.
  6. The ego sees a world of lack, the soul a world of abundance.
  7. The ego struggles, the soul awaits.
  8. The ego seeks protection because of its deep insecurity, the soul needs no protection because it is secure already.
  9. The ego knows how to take, the soul how to receive.
  10. The ego feels separate and alone, the soul identifies with wholeness.
  11. The ego longs for love, the soul is love.
  12. The ego puts the material world first, the soul puts consciousness first. (How “Goswami“)

At this moment, your allegiance is to “I, me, and mine,” and shifting your allegiance to the soul must replace ego demands with something new.

Reminds me of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s videoclip “What About Me?“:

Helping others makes us happy

How coincidental. Yesterday Thomas Herald from Dream Manifesto writes about Longest running study shows helping others makes us happy.

And today I receive Mike Dooley‘s Note From The Universe, stating the same:

First, as a child, it seems like the entire world is there for you and you rush to drink from its every cup, sometimes wondering to yourself how anything could ever be more fun.
Then, as you grow older, if you’re observant, you realize much of what you enjoy was made possible by the contributions, work, and labor of those who came before you, and you’re taken aback, disappointed even , because with maturity you can now see cracks in the façades, imperfections in the details, and 10,000 ways it could have all been done better.
At which point, folks typically choose one of two paths: Spend a lifetime lamenting how far from perfect things are. Or, to one degree or another, roll up their sleeves and pitch in.
And should they choose the latter with gusto, dear Martien, they will come to know, to the core of their sacred being, that the differences they might make in the world cannot be made by another. And then they will discover the answer to their often-wondered childhood question… That the most fun one can have in time and space comes from making such a difference, and that the joy derived from serving is 10,000 times that of being served.
At your service –

The Universe
Oh, no, Martien. This doesn’t mean life becomes all work and no play. It just means work becomes play, no matter what you do, and play becomes ecstasy.

Brad Neuberg on Inventing with Values

Verbatim copy of EEK’s blog entry. Thanks EEK, for sharing this.

Brad Neuberg on Inventing with Values:

A few months ago, my friend, BradNeuberg, gave the keynote at Yahoo’s internal Front-End Engineering Summit. The video is now online, and it’s worth watching. Brad’s not only a great guy and a great hacker, he’s an excellent speaker. He speaks from the heart with intensity and good humor. ” (ME6)

I want to highlight four things Brad said: ” (ME7)

  • A good way to approach invention is, ‘I Against I.’ (The name comes from a classic punk song from the mid-80s.) Don’t worry about what others will do. Instead of trying to protect your ideas by putting up walls, compete against yourself. If you’re going to be put to pasture by somebody, it might as well be by you. And as Brad points out, no ideas are safe. In this day and age, you will be put to pasture. ” (ME8)
  • Brad’s section on values was tremendous. He cited two techniques for clarifying values. The first was ‘Mob Rule.’ If you were the only thing between an angry mob and some other thing, what thing would cause you to stand your ground? This reminds me of something AlanDershowitz said in the best class I ever took in college. Dershowitz said that he was willing to die for freedom of speech. I was astounded by that statement, and it made me think about the values that I was willing to die for. ” (ME9)
  • The second technique was, ‘The Last Speech.’ Imagine you were about to leave your company and that you were asked to deliver a final speech. What would you say? This actually happened. A decade ago, JamesGosling was fed up with Sun and decided to leave. ScottMcNealy asked Gosling to write a letter before he left, explaining what he would do differently if he were in charge. Gosling outlined a vision which ultimately led to him staying at Sun and creating Java. ” (MEA)
  • Brad ended his section on values with a story about ArchieRand, the famous expressionist painter who was one of Brad’s professors at Columbia. Rand used to walk around the room as his students worked, look at them with his eyes blazing, and say, ‘This shit matters.’(MEB)

Each of these things are worth thinking about and trying. ” (MEC)

(Via EEK Speaks.)


Nicole Recourt sent me email on Ramsay’s film on giving and receiving from our planet Earth:

I’ve been organising a cross media project, film-documentry-internet series-book whose purpose is to follow four people travelling to remote parts of the planet in search of Nomadic tribes.

Nicol says Ramsey is talking with one of our universities to use a bus fueled by hydrogen (or fuel cells perhaps?).

The film is beautiful indeed! Put it on YouTube and give Joost a try! LLiNK may be interested as well.

Hey Nicole, who is this Ramsey anyway?

Love—The Purest Form of Energy

To Love is a verb, so hard work it is. And Love (with a capital L, in order not to be confused with its romantic meaning), passion, is the ultimate source of energy, strength and creativeness in the universe.

My energy, my love, is focused on creating and nourishing a family, an organization, and software in a balanced way that, one way or another, can help make the world a better place—a Whole Earth.

This Love aims to make the total very much larger than the sum of its parts, make it whole, coherent, and give it a quality without a name. And if I can’t love it, how can I expect anyone else to?

I strongly believe in an open, trustworthy, respectful, patient, and loving environment where I can work hard to serve and lead the people around me, and to bring out the best in them and make them thrive, so they can unfold their potential.

Collective Intelligence

Knowledge and imagination bring more and more economic value than raw material. The prosperity of a nation, geographical region, business, or individual depends on their ability to navigate the knowledge space (or cosmopedia) around which the new collective intelligence is organized goes beyond the image and text characteristic of print-based encyclopedias as we know it.

New computer technologies such as the semantic web will serve to filter and help us navigate knowledge, a multidimensional space, and enable us to think collectively rather than simply haul masses of information around with us.

Collective intelligence is a universally distributed intelligence. No one knows everything, and everyone knows something. We are passing from a Cartesian model of thought based upon the singular idea of cogito (I think) to a collective or plural cogitamus (we think).

The computer and software are the instruments that makes this utopian ideal possible. For if we are able to better communicate and understand, we will create a better world. Wisdom.

The more we are able to form intelligent communities, as open-minded, cognitive subjects capable of initiative, imagination, and rapid response, the more we will be able to ensure our success in a highly competitive environment.

Knowledge has become the new infrastructure. Our living knowledge, skills and abilities are in the process of being recognized as the primary source of all other wealth. Internetworked information would then provide the technical infrastructure for the collective brain or hypercortex. I will do everything in my power to catalyze this still emerging phenomenon.

Love is all you need

I want to love what I do, and do what I love. Aiming to propel the semantic, social and business web to further success, as it has all the ingredients to do just that. I’m giving it my heart, my mind and my soul.

Thrilled in harmony.