How do you pay for all this?

How a better world worksWhether it’s public events, email, or via my Patreon page, a common question I get is some version of this:

“Giving away necessities, having people produce these necessities and other things (like capital goods) sounds great.  But eventually, you have to PAY these people for doing all this work.  Where does the money come from?  How do you actually pay people to do all this stuff in Copiosis?

That this question comes so frequently is no surprise.  The current system has us all conditioned to accept many things as though they are true.  What we forget is that they are only true in the context of the current system, where we need money to acquire most things we value.

Outside that system, these premises are not true at all.  It is not true, for example, that people won’t work unless you pay them.  It also isn’t true that you must buy everything you value or that everything of value can be bought.  You can come up with a lot of examples where people work without being paid.  You also can come up with a lot of things that you can obtain without paying a dime.  The love of your parents, for example, is more valuable than anything you could spend money on.

Outside of a system that runs on money, everything of value can be had without payment.  It’s a matter of designing such a system.  I believe we have that system in Copiosis.

The beliefs we hold about our socioeconomic reality—beliefs that don’t hold up outside the current system—don’t apply in Copiosis.  Even at Copiosis headquarters we have to remind ourselves that we are under the impression that certain things are true that actually are not true.  Once we begin to let go of those untrue beliefs, Copiosis becomes easier to understand.


How does Copiosis work?

In Copiosis, there is no money.  No one pays anyone to do anything in Copiosis, and people still will do good things for other people and for the planet.  No one gets money for this work; instead, people are rewarded for their work.  They use this reward to obtain luxury items and services offered by the people who make them or other providers.  As you’ll see, the reward doesn’t function at all like money.

The reward people get in Copiosis is called net-benefit reward (NBR). NBR is quantified recognition of one’s social reputation.  People are rewarded when they do something that makes people or the planet better off.  The more we do that benefits even one person or the planet, the larger our award.

In Copiosis, many people do things that make the world fun to be in because that’s who they are.  They don’t care about being rewarded, even though they may accumulate reward in substantial amounts.  Other people are motivated to do things specifically to obtain these rewards.  They want luxuries.  Both these motivations can be found in people in our current system.  The difference is the reward versus money.  Let’s take a look at that.

You don’t earn NBR.  You are awarded NBR. There’s a big difference there.  NBR is society saying, “Hey, you did good.  Here’s a token of appreciation”.  That’s different from, “You earned this money for the work you did this week.  Good work”.  The difference is subtle, almost energetic.

Perhaps you can feel the difference.  Think about how it feels when you receive your paycheck.  It may be easier to access the feeling you have about your paycheck when you don’t get it.  When you have spent all of your last paycheck and really need the next one, but it’s not coming until next week.  There’s a feeling of entitlement, like someone owes you something.

Now think about what it’s like to receive a reward.  In most cases, you’re not expecting it.  You don’t feel entitled to it.  It’s nice to receive it because it’s unexpected.  That’s the nature of NBR.  It is bestowed upon you as a reward.

Another way to think about this is like frequent flyer miles.  My feelings are much different about those than they are about the money I earn.  I’m rewarded for using Southwest, for example.  While the difference may be subtle, the effect on society of rewarding people versus paying them will be huge.

The language shift that comes with Copiosis is a challenge for many, even here at Copiosis headquarters.  We find ourselves slipping back into capitalism’s vocabulary—earning, paying, spending, and such.  What happens in Copiosis when something is done for another isn’t captured by the same words used in capitalism.


More about NBR

NBR is not money. When you use it to obtain a luxury you don’t hand your NBR over to the clerk, proprietor, or the maker of the thing you want.  These people receive NBR for serving you but not your NBR.  Your NBR, when you use it to obtain a luxury, is deducted from your account and disappears.  NBR is non-transferable and can’t be exchanged between people.  It is also completely virtual.  You can’t touch your NBR.  It exists nowhere and is represented as numbers in your NBR account.  The only thing you can do with your NBR is use it for luxuries.  Necessities are provided to everyone at no cost.

Every unit of NBR follows the same life cycle, if you will.  It comes into existence to reward a single person.  It is given to a human being as a reward for that person’s contribution to making people or the planet better off.  When a human being uses her NBR, that NBR goes out of existence.  Only natural persons can be awarded NBR, not organizations.

I’m describing how Copiosis works in this post.  There’s a lot of psychology behind the “why” of how it works that I won’t go into for brevity’s sake.  I just want to stop here and say that how NBR works is extremely powerful for eliminating nearly every social problem we see on the planet as many of those problems are caused by the kind of money we use to run our societies and the psychological ramifications of its use.

So when a person produces something like “relieving a strawberry patch owner from having to pick the strawberries” that person (the strawberry picker) has benefitted someone (the owner of the strawberry patch).  Society rewards that strawberry picker for the benefit.  He can use those rewards to obtain a luxury such as a gourmet meal or an especially nice article of clothing.  He can also save it.


How much to reward

We like the idea that different people have different talents and capabilities.  Furthermore, different people have made varying levels of investment in their lives to learn skills which are more valuable than others in terms of their benefit to the planet and its beings.  We believe people who produce more benefit should be rewarded more.  Especially when necessities are provided to all at no cost, thereby eliminating most obstacles that prevent people from gaining such useful skills.

While units of NBR are all the same in terms of their individual, intrinsic value, how much NBR a strawberry picker receives is not what a life-saving, risk-taking rescue swimmer gets for plucking a drowning fisherman from the Arctic Ocean.  The difference is determined by the net-benefit algorithm, which essentially works like this: We measure all the positive results an action produces in the world.  Then we measure all the negative effects that same action has in the world.  We subtract all the negative effects from the positive ones.  If the net result is positive (called a net benefit), the actor is rewarded.  If the result is zero or negative, the actor receives nothing.

In practice, the algorithm is very complicated.  It tries to take into account all the information needed to perform the calculation above and generate a fair amount of NBR for any result.  The algorithm and our software are open source and continually under revision.  Anyone may have input into it according to the rules of stigmergy.

Some say, “It’s impossible to assess all the effects of a given action, especially because many are subjective.”  That may be true literally.  It may be true figuratively.  Practically speaking, it is not true.  One reason that it’s possible to measure all the effects is no one receives NBR until all the results are known, so it can take a while for someone to receive their NBR for what they did.  Think about how life would be if businesses were rewarded only after we knew the full effects of their products or services on people and the planet.

We already know the results many human activities have on the planet, people, and society, and we’re collecting data all the time.  So, in many cases, the NBR calculation can be performed with relative speed, and reward given right away.  The inevitable delays will vary, of course.  Because necessities in Copiosis are provided to everyone at no cost to them, we at least won’t have to worry about our basic needs.


Necessities for all

Your food, clothing, education, housing, and healthcare are provided to you at no cost.  By now, you should be able to answer the question, “How do the people providing these things get paid?”  These five things are called necessities, because for a person to freely pursue freedom, happiness, and self-actualization, they first must have access to these five things.

Let’s look at these categories in some detail.

Obviously, we don’t have to provide ALL food as necessity items.  That doesn’t make sense.  There are a lot of food items people would still be willing to give up NBR to get.  Same with the other categories.  So we identify certain foods as necessities, and the rest are considered luxuries.  A nutritious, multigrain bread loaf, for example, may be designated a necessary food.  An artisan loaf of kalamata olive bread crafted by Franciscan monks might not.  Down coats or other winter protective clothing may be necessary in North Dakota, and not in Hawaii. However, a Giorgio Armani down coat, even in North Dakota, may be a luxury item.  Citizen juries will decide such questions.

Sushi, in certain Asian communities and probably in Japan, may be a necessary basic food.  It might not be designated as such in Gabon.  Cultural differences, yes?  A face-lift would likely be a luxury procedure in most cases, while diabetes treatment or a diabetes cure might considered necessary.

In all these examples, you can see there are products and services that fall into one of the necessity categories but may not be considered necessities.  Copiosis administration—the payer organization, described later—may establish necessity-class sets.  Maybe not.

There’s a HUGE difference between no cost and free.  Necessities are provided to all people at no cost, not free.  In Copiosis all property is private property, including necessities.  It is up to the owner how much you get or what you get.  The key thing to understand at this point is that you can’t just walk into a store in North Dakota, take a coat, and leave just because you don’t have one.  Just like today, you must check out the items.  Unlike today, how much cash you have doesn’t matter.  How much NBR you have doesn’t matter either, since your NBR is worthless to everyone but you.  You don’t hand over your NBR to the coat maker in exchange for the coat, as you do with money.  You give up your NBR to obtain the coat, and it disappears from your account.  You get the coat.  Then, after you have reported your experience with the coat, society rewards the coat provider with NBR.

So whether you get that coat, or anything else, will be determined by the owner’s disposition, how eager they are to earn NBR, what kind of person you are, and other considerations.  We’ll look more at this in a moment.


The end of scarcity

Copiosis is based on abundance.  Scarcity is not real in most cases today.  I don’t know about you, but I have rarely wanted something and not been able to get it.  And if it wasn’t available, it wasn’t long before supplies arrived, enabling me to get it.  Scarcity is something we believe is real because of the systemic conditioning we’ve received.  Some things are limited.  Not everyone can own beachfront property on Earth, because there aren’t enough beaches.  I hope you can see that when I’m talking about abundance and scarcity, I’m not referring to obvious things that are limited in supply.  I’m referring to the perception that what you might want is unavailable because you don’t have enough money to obtain it, or because its price is so high only a few can experience it.  This perception of scarcity creates a lot of psychological trouble for humanity.

Because Copiosis is based on abundance, quantities of things, such as food, water, the number of pants you can own, etc., are not regulated or limited by any authority like a government, guild, or association.  Instead, they are regulated by the NBR formula (algorithm).  In Copiosis, limitation is only felt by people who make things.  Let’s look at what I mean.


Providers make all the decisions.

In Copiosis, people who make things have all the power.  They make the system go, they speed up or slow down consumption, they manage resource consumption, replenishment, and the environment as well as the speed of innovation and the speed of progress.

A producer is someone who does something that makes Earth or people better off in terms of net benefit.  A dog walker is a producer, as is someone who tutors a child.  So is the person who creates the next awesome piece of software, or the first interplanetary transit service.  The person who creates riparian zones for anadromous fish is a producer.  A person who collects data to determine whether next year’s crop yield will be sufficient to feed a given population is a producer.  A person who feeds another is a producer.

Obviously, producers create things that fall into one of three categories: products, services, or capital goods.  These categories are further divided into necessities, luxuries, and capital goods.  Capital goods are required to make other things, and they are provided to producers at no cost.

No one can compel anyone to do anything they don’t want to do in Copiosis.  Everyone is free to do what they want.  We’ll talk about how behavior is managed in Copiosis in a moment.  This total freedom is important to note now because it applies to producers.

Producers, for the most part, are free to designate what they create as a necessity, a luxury, or a capital good.  They also are free to set the NBR gateway (analogous to price but not the same thing) for their luxury goods and services.  Producers make these decisions by understanding how Copiosis works and what goes into making what they make, and by how much NBR they wish to receive.

Let’s look at the fisheries industry as an example.  Many fishing stocks have been depleted because of several factors.  Overfishing is one, and demand drives overfishing because fishermen must earn a living in our current system and the more fish they catch, the more money they make.  So the real culprit for stock depletion is the fisherman’s need to earn a living.  Freed from that (in addition to all necessities and capital goods being provided at no cost, debt also is eliminated in Copiosis), fishermen as producers now have options.

Generally speaking, a fisherman’s NBR over time will decrease as supplies of the fish he catches go down, because the algorithm weights heavily the health and abundance of a natural resource.  It also accounts for the number of people using that resource, so if there are many fishermen after the same fish, NBR for our fisherman will go down even more because the number of fish are decreasing and the number of people targeting them is large.  Demand for the fish is included in the calculation, but resource abundance trumps that.

So our fisherman’s ability to receive NBR will be limited by the supply and health of the fish they are fishing, and the number of fishermen going for that fish.  If the number of people demanding the fish goes down, that, too, will decrease the amount of NBR a fisherman receives.  These NBR signals tell our fisherman that if he wants to continue to receive the same level award, he has to change his actions.  How can our fisherman increase his NBR?

One way is to shift his fishing to other types of fish.  A more effective way is to shift his own activities from fishing the fish he’s been fishing to helping replenish the stocks.  How?  By helping scientists, biologists and others passionate about the ecosystem return the fish stocks to abundance.  Should our fisherman marshal his colleagues in support of replenishment, he will receive more NBR, because it is more valuable to society, ecologically and with regard to consumer demand for fish, to take these conservative and replenishment acts than to continue fishing the fish to collapse.  The more fishermen doing this work, the fewer are fishing the fish.  The more people helping to restore the fish, the better off the fish ought to be.

As fishermen shift to resource replenishment, they increase their NBR because people objectively need a healthy ecosystem, which includes diverse and abundant species, more than they need to consume this particular fish.  Even if the number of people doing this work is high, it doesn’t matter that much because the number of resources they use is not likely to be as taxing on society as depleting a particular fish species.  The result in this case could be consumers seeing less of this type of fish in stores and restaurants.

It’s an easy matter countering public frustration over not receiving the fish they’ve enjoyed up to now.  The fishermen, market, restaurant and grocery owners can enlist communications people to explain to the public the value of this reduction to consumers.  Such communications provide the benefit of an informed public on ecosystem vitality as well as a net reduction in the consumption and demand for over-harvested fish, resulting in NBR for the communicators, NBR for the fishermen engaging the communicators, and NBR for owners of the communication channels.



If you are following this, you can see how activities people take today to restore environmental damage, in Copiosis results in NBR rewards.  And there is nothing preventing the very same people responsible for the damage from reversing the damage they’ve done and earning NBR in the process.

The net effect of these actions may be that consumers will see periodic limitations of goods.  Those limitations are for virtuous reasons, not because the resources used to produce those goods were over-consumed due to the producers’ need to earn a living.

There’s a lot to describe here, and I hope you get a sense that producers determine whether a product is necessary or luxurious, how much NBR is needed to obtain the product, and what resources are needed to make the thing.  They also determine how many people can potentially own the thing.  These decisions don’t directly affect provider NBR.  Requiring a large amount of NBR does not necessarily result in a large NBR for the producer.

Consumers can consume all they want, until the producer begins to feel the effect of that consumption expressed as a change in their net-benefit reward.  If the producer is using a lot of resources to meet the demand for her product, she will see a decrease in her NBR as more and more resources are used up in the production process.

I think you’re beginning to get the point of how necessities are determined and how abundance is managed. But there’s one more group we need to present to round out the picture of how Copiosis works.


The payer organization

When people first hear about the payer organization, they mistakenly think that these people have all the power and control in Copiosis because they make decisions that affect the NBR algorithm.  While they do steward the algorithm and the software running it, the people in the organization have little power.  Let’s examine why.

A lot has to happen to give a person NBR for the result of his actions.  Someone must monitor consumer and provider activity, collect and analyze many kinds of data, research enormous knowns and unknowns, report on all this, forecast many events and conditions, archive past activities, and generally administer the Copiosis system.  There will doubtless be more.

Government, research universities, research labs, and think tanks such as the Pew Research Center perform some of these roles today.  Government is supposedly kept in check via a three-branch system (in the US), or a parliament of elected representatives who are supposed to make decisions in the best interest of the rest of us.  You get the idea.  And, we already know how those alternatives tend to turn out.  Universities and research centers tend to be peer-reviewed or government-regulated.  That doesn’t always work that well either.

In Copiosis, the payer organization performs all this work and more.  The only authority the organization has is to ensure that people are fairly rewarded with NBR.  That’s it.  They can’t tell anyone or compel anyone to do anything or not do anything.  They can’t detain anyone, they can’t take NBR away from anyone.  All they can do is make sure that people are being rewarded fairly for their acts according to the tenets of the system.

Someone has to operate and maintain the servers where the Copiosis software sits.  Someone must regularly update the open-source algorithm so it keeps up with technological and cultural shifts.  Someone has to maintain all the technology in the field that feeds the system.  Someone has to interact with members of society to take the pulse of the culture.  There must be a mechanism for society members to voice and resolve grievances.  There must be a way to educate and communicate changes that happen to true up to society progress and changes and this has to happen at multiple societal levels because society is decidedly not homogenous.  Someone has to do results research, statistical analysis, social science, medical science, biological science, industrial science . . . it goes on and on.

The payer organization is made up of all the people, the disciplines, the experts and industry representatives that do all this work to reward producers fairly. The organization operates on the principle of stigmergy.

Anyone may become a member of the payer organization. There are no restrictions other than other people’s desire to work with you—remember, no one can force anyone to do anything.  Producing results as part of the payer organization creates significant net benefit because you’re keeping the system running, so these roles are well rewarded.  That’s my guess, anyway.

The payer organization has members who work in offices, and there are staff in the field interacting with providers, consumers, and the environment; and feeding the system and reporting to the public about what’s going on in the larger society.  They may, for example, publish a listing of fields that currently are high-NBR potential opportunities.  They may work with producers and recommend ways to increase their operational efficiency.  Of course, other providers can do this same work.  There are no restrictions.

While there will be full-timers in the payer organization, there also will be occasional workers and part-timers.  There will be independents who work with the organization.  There also will be non-members participating in the payer organization via citizen juries, helping to make cultural and community value judgments that inform inputs to the algorithm.

This organization has no power other than to ensure that producers are fairly rewarded with NBR.  They make no laws, enforce nothing, direct nothing, compel nothing.  How accountability is maintained, how people doing bad things is prevented in the payer organization and elsewhere in Copiosis is covered next.


Your reputation matters.

In addition to an NBR account, each person has a reputation account.  Since NBR is a quantified form of one’s social reputation, there also must be a qualitative form as well.  The reputation account serves this purpose.

Reputation accounts are encrypted records of everything you do in a Copiosis society.  In today’s world, a lot of value can be gained from having access to that, so I don’t blame people who gasp as they imagine how this would work—or not—in the context of today’s surveillance society.  The thing is, we’re not talking about today’s world.

No one needs or really has the motivation to want to see what’s in your reputation account except for a few components and in a few instances.  That’s why only you have the power to reveal that information to others.  No authority can compel you in Copiosis to reveal the data unless you desire to do so.  There are some instances where doing so would be a good idea.  Since your reputation account includes all the purchases you made, if someone were to take something of yours for example, it would be easy to determine if that thing is indeed theirs or not by examining your reputation account and the reputation account of the current possessor.

It makes sense to reveal some of your reputation account if you’re considering working with someone you don’t know, and you want to decide whether to work with her.  There are other reasons why you would want to share aspects of your reputation account with others.  I’ll avoid them for brevity.

Your reputation account contains your biological data, your work history, and your education and skill information, including certifications and awards.  There are also declarations, which are statements people make about you and that remain with you permanently.  It’s kind of like a Yelp review for you as a person.  Declarations are serious business.  Since people can’t compel you to do things, including being honest, the declaration component of your reputation account allows people to decide whether they want to interact with you based on what’s in there.

Declarations are positive or negative.  As the owner of your reputation account you get to approve all positive reputation declarations.  You also have input, as well as the ability to review and contest all negative declarations.  After the review and verification process is complete, if the declaration is accurate as determined by that branch of the payer organization, that declaration sticks.  Forever.

People don’t necessarily need to see the nitty-gritty of your declarations.  That might be embarrassing.  That’s why we’re considering creating an index—colored lights, grades, stars, or emoticons—aggregating the detail into a series of easy-to-interpret icons or signals.  There’s more detail to this, but I think you get the idea.

Now, in Copiosis, if something is happening that can be improved, and you improve that thing, you have made people and perhaps the planet better off.  You can report it and you’ll be rewarded with NBR.  Anytime you make something better for people and the planet, including improving the Copiosis system, you get NBR.

Imagine you are aware of a plot to take over the payer organization or you know someone who is trying to hack the algorithm so it rewards him with enormous amounts of NBR.  If you notify the payer organization of that and their investigation results in proving your claim, you get a reward and the person plotting to commit the offense gets a negative declaration in their reputation account.

Even if the person succeeds with his plot and isn’t found out, friends and community members may begin to wonder how that person received so much NBR.  It is easy to connect NBR to results, because the results are required to reward NBR.  A person with a huge NBR account and no real results in his reputation account or in the physical world commensurate with that much NBR is going to be in for some serious questioning.

If a loophole in the system is discovered, either by bad actors or white hat hackers, those people stand to be rewarded with NBR for making the system better.  Any act that makes the system better triggers NBR.

In this way, NBR helps temper human behavior, by rewarding only positive, net-benefit producing actions.  Reputation accounts help the NBR system by holding people accountable for their actions and the results of those actions.

There are cases where a person just screws up and does something dumb.  There are measures for addressing such mistakes already in place in today’s world.  I think there also will be a spontaneous creation of services that could help people overcome such mistakes.  After all, helping people being penalized over the long term for being stupid early or at one time in their life, makes that person (and others like him) better off.  Knowing what you know now about how Copiosis works, can you think of some ways producers could earn NBR by addressing such a problem?


Wrapping it up

This was a long post.  I hope by now you get a sense for how Copiosis works as a total system.  I’m happy to respond to any questions you might have. Please post them in the comment section below.  See this post for more information on how Copiosis eliminates most crime.  Thanks for reading, and feel free to visit my Patreon page and consider becoming a patron of our work.

22 thoughts on “How do you pay for all this?

  1. So a net positive action earns an NBR, but a net negative action elicits no NBR penalty? I shall become a paid assassin. An angry NBR-rich woman hires me to kill her cheating husband, and pays me in luxury goods. My action may be highly negative, but that doesn’t cost me anything if the act is revealed. If someone figures out that I did it they can give me a negative reputation declaration, but heck, a reputation for killing people will be good for business! Can my client make a positive declaration without revealing my (and her) action? Something like “Mark carried out my wishes quickly and discretely”? If so, then so long as I can remain undiscovered I can build a positive reputation. And I may even be able to gain NBR by assassination a crime boss or dictator. And if circumstances force me to retire I can even earn NBR by revealing this way of gaming the system.

    1. Holy smokes Mark. What an awesomely creative scenario! Let’s unpack it. Shall we?

      To answer your question, no, there is no NBR penalty other than receiving no NBR if your act is net negative. Although we are thinking through “negative NBR balance” for acts that go net negative.

      Now let’s examine your assassin avocation. You can try to become a “paid” assassin. Or even one who does it at no cost. But let’s follow the tack you chose: a paid one.

      First off, there’s a question why an NBR-rich wife would be so angry as to want to kill someone who she married. If it’s a simple premeditated crime, then there you go. But healthcare in Copiosis is much more comprehensive. So is personal security. It’s highly likely there are personal safeguards in place (tech-based ones, including nano-tech based) an assassin probably can’t foil. Remember, we’re talking about a future that is unconstrained by cost. Think of how rich people might protect themselves.

      So now she comes to you to hire you. Assuming, of course you have some kind of record for such a thing demonstrating your effectiveness. Including – and this is most important – your willingness and ability to keep your results quiet/secret. That may be possible in today’s world. But in a Copiosis economy it would be really, really hard. For one, anyone who tells your secret can be rewarded NBR. The more successful you were, the more they will be rewarded.

      The more successful you’ve been, the more people are aware of and looking for you. It’s also accurate to say the more mistakes you’ve made, and the more chances there are for detectives (who have far more time, talent, techniques, technology and skills) to detect your mistakes. Remember too their incentives: massive rewards perpetually rewarded (passive income).

      So if you get past all that, property, including luxuries are all registered in reputation accounts (or NBR Accounts – we haven’t decided yet). So are transactions of property. So every time you get “payment” a transaction trail is recorded. Now everyone who had a hand in the luxurious you get have an interest in who gets their luxuries. And also, everyone giving you luxury payment is tied to you. Just saying.

      Now, if someone does figure it out, you’re subject to a justice system just like today. The penalties are more humane but they still are penalties. And the person who turns you in gets a reward. Oh, and you also get a negative declaration. But that’s not the only person. Anyone, including the families of all your victims can give you one too.

      You think that’s good for business. Lol. You don’t understand how these work. Your community where you live will not likely support you as a killer. Just look at how communities harbor people (read: fail to harbor) who commit lesser crimes today. A premeditated murderer? Hahaha. It will be highly unlikely you will be able to live anywhere nice. And as for getting your necessities…good luck.

      Still want to be an assassin?

      Well all your clients will likely get similar punishments you do including reputation account hits. So will anyone you know who doesn’t or didn’t turn you in for all your previous acts. What about the “don’t be a rat” criminal code? Once people get rewarded for ratting (which doesn’t happen now) that will change. And you can bet there will be people who will be armed with the same skills you have, but using their skills to protect such people. Protecting those people and your potential victims will pay more than offing innocent people.

      So your client might try to make a positive declaration. But she’s a criminal. Her declaration likely won’t be allowed. It would be like a false declaration. Besides. She’s going to have her own troubles.

      So this is just the beginning. We think you can see your scenario won’t work out as you’re thinking. But we’re happy to read a rebuttal.

  2. Although I consider the idea /project very insteresting, I have a few practical questions:

    If I am a automobile manufacturer today (on a traditional capitalist economy) I need to buy raw materials, lease a factory, invest in design, technology, marketing, logistics, pay salaries, taxes, etc. How would that happen on Copiosis and its NRB system? I use this example but i actually mean any venture that is capital intensive (which today traditionally uses financing and capital market for funding).
    What about big projects that are necessary for various reasons? Like mining, cargo ships, construction, scientific research (building a LHC for example). For all of them you need big, expansive machines, raw materials (that need to be mined like iron, bauxite, copper, etc), large areas especially designed for the task, and so on.
    In an economy without companies would groups of people organize themselves to perform such tasks independently?

    What about housing? People and families would be designated to specific homes or anyone could choose where to live? Premium areas would require NRBs (considering a supply and demand logic)?
    And security? Without institutions responsible for guaranteeing peoples safety (physical, social, electronic) how can you provide it to everyone? A reputation account could prevent every possible offensive, illegal action? Would there be any coordinated rehabilitation system?
    As a matter of fact, can you ensure that every basic and necessary service for the wellbeing of everyone (people, animals, nature) is covered only by individually coordinated persons motivated by more NRBs / doing good and improving their reputation accounts?

    1. I had a great answer for your questions, then accidentally deleted it all…..I’ll try to recreate it:

      Your question about mass production of complex goods, goods requiring many inputs from many different suppliers is a common one. Not only are they capital intensive, but they are also resource intensive in terms of consumption. The car maker is a good example, for brevity let’s just look at how the factory is obtained and how aluminum is sourced. The principles in these two examples apply to all the other points you ask about.

      Let’s assume the plant already exists and the lease is coincidentally timed to expire just as the transition to Copiosis is happening. For simplicity (of explanation only) let’s say the owner of the land also owns the factory (the building, not the equipment in the building, although again the same principles described here apply to the equipment). This person as a capital good owner has some decisions to make. They’re complex decisions but they’re not as difficult as the decisions needing answers in capitalism. Capital goods (land, labor and equipment – but not capital (because money does not exist)) are provided to all producers at no cost. “No Cost” is not the same as free though. So the land owner must decide who will use the factory and the land going forward. To maximize his NBR, he wants to let a producer use his goods who is going to maximize both benefits to humanity and benefits to the planet. Letting a car maker use this plant may not be the best choice, but let’s say it is because the car maker, anticipating the transition already has begun retooling/organizing its operations to make it maximally environmentally sustainable. Their plans include future actions that aren’t possible until after the transaction though because many of the things they want to do are too expensive to do in capitalism, but after the transition are easy because money is not involved. So the land owner decides to continue to allow the car maker to use the facility and the land. There is no lease, just an agreement, with some stipulations probably made in writing about how the land will be used, maintained and who will perform those functions (the landowner or the car maker). The agreement is now in place and the operation can continue.

      Now, the landowner is providing land and a facility to the car maker. Because of his generosity, a lot of benefit is being created. Workers there have the opportunity to exercise their passions. As designers, engineers, procurement specialists, logisticians, environmental scientists, etc., these people are creating a lot of benefit for others. They’re benefitting each other by cooperating, and also benefitting other people in both directions through the supply chain. They also are contributing to producing benefit to consumers in the form of cars. Equipment providers (people providing the assembly robots, storage cabinets, PPE etc.) are also benefitting because they too are benefitting the car maker workers. None of this would be happening had the landowner not offered the land. So the land owner is receiving a lot of NBR for all the benefit he facilitates, including the incentives built into the agreement, which motivate the car maker to make cars in more sustainable ways. So the landowner is happy because he is receiving NBR, the car maker people are happy because they have a place to continue making cars, the planet is happy because the car maker is now making cars in ways more environmentally sustainable than before and consumers are happy too for obvious reasons. Even the suppliers are happy. But let’s look at suppliers in more detail.

      Inside the car plant, there is a coordinator (formerly known as the aluminum buyer). She, like all the other technical and nontechnical contributors to the car maker, is rewarded NBR for her contribution to the operation. BTW, the car maker is not rewarding this coordinator, or any other person receiving NBR as in the old days when the car maker would PAY people SALARY. The car maker is not involved at all in the reward process. The coworkers as well as members of the payer organization who visit the plant, and the payer organization networked throughout society is responsible for rewarding everyone cooperating to make cars. This has huge benefits we won’t address for sake of brevity.

      This coordinator goes to an aluminum foundry to coordinate delivery of the next shipment of aluminum. There’s no more “buying” as capital goods are provided at no cost. But there is coordinating to do. The foundry is receiving the raw materials to create aluminum from perhaps several different landowners, mines or recyclers. These suppliers, like the landowner above have some complex decisions to make about how much and to whom they provide the raw materials used to make aluminum and whatever else those raw materials can be used for. They may also be managing the land in ways that produce other net benefit rewards. Nonetheless, this one organization has been providing raw materials to this foundry the coordinator is visiting for some time. So the workers there are receiving a lot of NBR because their work benefits the foundry the same way the landowner above benefits the car maker. They also benefit all the other industries their labor contributes to, such as airplane manufacturers and soda can makers. Workers at the foundry are receiving NBR for their contribution/work in producing aluminum ingots, and other aluminum extrusion products. Anyway, the car maker coordinator works with the foundry coordinator on the next aluminum shipment. Once agreed upon, a third supplier – a transportation organization – is contacted by the foundry coordinator to pick up and deliver the aluminum to the car maker plant (or perhaps a middle organization which turns the processed aluminum into the parts needed for car assembly). The car maker coordinator could do this too. It doesn’t really matter. Obviously (to me anyway) both coordinators are involved in this process because a second pair of eyes on such details is good. Once all the aluminum parts are delivered to the car maker, all these coordinators as well as the transportation company workers (the driver, scheduler logistician etc) receive NBR for the benefit they contribute to their portion of the supply chain operation.

      So now the car maker has a facility and all the aluminum they need. BTW, the car maker doesn’t have to worry about the facility. The land owner wants to make sure the facility operates as optimally as possible and so takes care of all that (or allows someone else to do that work for him) so the car maker doesn’t have to worry about it thereby producing yet more benefit for the car maker.

      Making ships, airplanes, and scientific research (such as the LHC) are all rewarded the same way. However, the LHC is a special case, so I’ll throw out my concern for brevity for a bit to address this. Research is rewarded of course, because it benefits society, the planet or both depending on the nature of the research. There is some research some people would say produces no benefit and therefore should not be rewarded. Or the rewards are realized well into the future. We do know however that research has value just for research sake. It also has a funny way of providing tangential benefits in applications other than the primary intent of said research, so sometimes it’s hard to know where research will go. It is therefore better IMO to reward all research. I may be incorrect with some of the details in this example, but I believe DARPA research (which is always intended to my knowledge for military applications) was one of the primary sources of discoveries which lead to the commercial Internet. If this is incorrect, this is a perfect example of research in one area which lead to huge benefit in others.

      I’m sure you can imagine research that lead to indirect, tangent, yet valuable outcomes. Research has value for research’s sake. This should also be obvious to you because today, a lot of money (probably billions) is spent worldwide on all kinds of research. And money is scarce. So, it would seem to me in an abundant economy, all kinds of research would be rewarded NBR, particularly large scale projects such as the LHC, research proving planetary colonization, space travel and such. Even more so since “how much will it cost” isn’t a gating factor. For these very large “endeavors for humanity” equipment, labor and supplies would be provided in the same way I explained above: people providing these services and products would be rewarded for their contribution to the benefit realized. Initial rewards (for research) may be small and so the internal reward for contributing to research may have to predominate…initially. However, later, when said research contributes to a major breakthrough, everyone contributing to that research will receive a seemingly out-of-the-blue reward for the early contribution.

      In an economy without companies would groups of people organize themselves to perform such tasks independently?

      Through a complicated process I won’t detail here (although it is well-thought-out) companies (i.e. corporations and private companies of other forms) are divested of their debts thereby freeing the assets within those organizations from the debt obligation. Investors are compensated for their investment as well, freeing the company from all obligations. Corporate personhood and all other legalities authorizing “businesses” to own assets and use money are also eliminated. What is left are groups of people performing things to produce an organized, expected outcome. Their organization (formerly a business entity) is no longer able to own anything because it is largely just a framework, not an entity. So yes, people may retain the previous organizational structure, with hierarchical top-down leadership, or they may adopt stigmergic organizational structures which are much much “looser”. Individuals within these organizations would no longer be beholden to the boss the way they are today, as the boss has no control over how much NBR a person is rewarded. Nor do they have the power of punishment expressed as firing people. People are more free to come and go in organizations making “losing” your work in Copiosis is far less of an issue than today. It seems to me most people will welcome this new level of freedom and thrive in it after a period of adjustment, which may or may not be tumultuous depending on the personality. “Independently” would more likely be “interdependently” because as you said at the beginning of your comment, hardly anything these days can be made independently, certainly nothing complex. That may change in the future.

      What about housing? People and families would be designated to specific homes or anyone could choose where to live? Premium areas would require NRBs (considering a supply and demand logic)?

      No one is “designated” to anything in Copiosis. Everyone is free. There will likely be a kind of housing called Necessity housing. It will be basic, but likely far better than today’s middle income homes. Of course there are some challenges to address still, such as the size of house because a necessity house for one family may not be large enough for a different family. But these kinds of challenges are fairly easy to deal with. Beyond necessity housing, there will be a LOT of luxury housing of many different varieties. My GUESS is builders of these houses may or may not transfer ownership of them to others. Instead, they may offer them for an ongoing NBR Gateway (like a rent). Now, you may be thinking “that’s terrible, I would want to own my home”. And some builders may offer luxury homes for that purpose. It’s up to the builder/developer I would suppose. Yes, it is likely that premium areas would require this ongoing NBR Gateway satisfaction to live in most likely. However, think about this: the owner of a piece of land in a premium location wants to maximize her NBR (presumably). Does it make sense to provide that land for a single luxury mansion? Or to create a beautiful luxury structure that houses as many people as possible? Remember too that NBR is non-transferrable, so it’s not possible for a super rich (in NBR terms) person to use his wealth to convince a landowner to build a single luxury mansion on a premium piece of land simply because he wants one there because he can’t give any of his NBR wealth to the developer.

      And security? Without institutions responsible for guaranteeing peoples safety (physical, social, electronic) how can you provide it to everyone? A reputation account could prevent every possible offensive, illegal action? Would there be any coordinated rehabilitation system?

      Your question seems to be providing its own answer :-). There will be organizations of people committed to providing safety and security. But those people, unlike today, would be performing that role in order to produce maximum benefit, not the accomplishment of political ends. This applies to peace officers on the street, mental health professionals working to ensure people’s security in that way, and members of the payer organization working specifically to maintain electronic security, the latter being crucial. How can the system provide it to everyone? How is it provided today? More so, wouldn’t more people want to perform that work, particularly people who are passionate about that work, knowing that doing so provides them with NBR? In instances where this protections fail, there will be of course redemptive organizations (judges at first, but likely mediators and other more beneficial forms later as the system evolves) which work with the injured parties to find ways to receive restitution. Of course offenders are credited with the appropriate reputation account declarations, plus any rehabilitative services they need to not reoffend. So yes, (and unlike today) there will be a robust system of coordinated rehabilitation systems which will obviate the need for such a large prison industrial complex.

      As a matter of fact, can you ensure that every basic and necessary service for the wellbeing of everyone (people, animals, nature) is covered only by individually coordinated persons motivated by more NRBs / doing good and improving their reputation accounts?

      The short answer to this question is: you don’t have to.

      There are those people who will be motivated by receiving NBR. But even today, you see a lot of services to the planet, to nature, to people to animals, that is done by people simply because they are passionate about doing that thing even though the MUST work to earn a living to survive. With the need to earn a living obviated (by providing necessities to all, including basic housing), I believe people will flock to pursuing their passions in areas appropriate to them, including the people who are producing the necessities. Jobs most people will be unwilling to do, if they output of such jobs are in high demand, will be “high NBR rewarding opportunities.”

      I have no doubt about people willing to do this work because when I look out into society today, people are already doing these things, in many cases, while being paid nothing, or little for their work. Remember, work will not be individually coordinated…well it will be, but in the context of a massively connected, informed and gifting network of people doing things of other people, including, of course, helping to ensure everyone’s work is coordinate with the work of others.

  3. Hi! I have a question about the virtual nature of NBR. If it only exists electronically, how do we ensure that whatever NBR we’ve been rewarded is safe from system malfunction? I also would like a concrete example of how housing works currently? Say for a family of 3 and a dog.

    1. Hi Moirae,
      Curious how you found about about Copiosis would you mind telling us?

      To your questions: there are two answers to each of your questions, depending on if your questions refer to the current demonstration projects, a transitionary version of Copiosis, or the full-blown system. In the demonstration projects, very few people currently have access to the software back end (like three people) because it resides on enterprise-level servers owned by with extremely robust password protection. I have downloads of each database, so I know how much NBR each participant has should there be a problem. They key element though is that very few people have access to the software. Functionally, we’ve already had system malfunctions in the software (an unforeseen software bug), but the databases (where the NBR totals reside), being separate from the working software, were unaffected.

      In the transitionary and full-blown versions, there is lots more redundancy, lots more security and, of course, the people managing the system are being rewarded NBR for their work. So to the degree they keep the system resilient, they are receiving lots of NBR. They are strongly motivated to keep the system secure. Keeping the system 100% secure is not 100% possible, but many systems today enjoy 99.9999% uptime and security. Not bad in capitalism. How much better in a system where you don’t have to pay for labor and other resources?

      Today we have credit cards, we have bank accounts which are increasingly becoming “digital”, we have paper money and checks. If any form of this money is lost or stolen through any kind of “system malfunction” – anything from one-on-one, one-time theft event, you losing your money, or an economic downturns that destroys the value of your money, you face serious problems as you need money to continue to buy anything you might need, including necessities – keeping your home, feeding kids and your dog :-). In Copiosis, should the unlikely event of a system malfunction occur (there can be no theft, you can’t lose it and there are no economic faults, the only thing that can happen is an IT event), such an event has no effect on your ability to get medical care, food, to keep your house or any other major (or minor) need. It only effects your ability to consume luxuries. So the effect of a system malfunction “costing” you in NBR is quite small. But again, there will be backups and records to ensure your NBR is safe, or in the very worst case, restored after a malfunction.

      Finally about how housing works. Currently, there are two examples of “housing” being provided or being contemplated. One example provides temporary housing, the other is planned to be permanent, should it work out. In the Kenton project, a family with a house with a studio in the back, provided room and board to a traveler from the Chico project at no cost to that person (and her daughter) while they were traveling through Portland. The mother of the host family received a large amount of NBR for providing not only the room, but also two organic, vegan meals for each person. So that’s one example of temporary housing being provided. In Chico, a participant lives in a neighborhood where the majority of the residents are retirees and those people live in homes of at least three bedrooms, with only one bedroom being occupied. Plans are to organize a program whereby those homeowners would offer their excess space to people needing housing for NBR. Those plans are in the very early stages, so we can’t speak with much certainty about the results of that effort. Whether one of these homeowners would offer their excess space to a family of three and a dog is dependent on the individual, as it will be in the full-blown innovation. I can see reasons why a person may do exactly that. But I’ll stick to your questions to keep this brief.

      Housing at no cost, is a Copiosis feature that will likely come much later as Copiosis rolls out. Far more emotional realizations and epiphanies must occur among far more participants than we have today, enabling the public to see the value of our innovation, before we can begin rolling out plans for making housing available to all. But we are firmly on that path and we do have concrete plans for making that happen. The two examples I just gave are indications that we’re beyond just talking about it. We’re actually beginning (if only beginning) to take practical steps in this direction. Of course, I’ve been wrong about how quickly things have happened with our innovation (things are happening more quickly than I predicted) so this could all happen sooner than I think.

      Are you in need, or know of someone in need of housing?

    2. Hi again Moirae, would you mind letting me know if you receive these messages in your inbox, or if you get them via the website or both? Just wanting to make sure these replies are being received. Thanks!

      1. Hello! Sorry it’s taken awhile to get back to you. I have received the reply via my email and then clicked the link to bring me back to the website to reply. I found out about Copiosis after my son wanted me to buy a street roots newspaper from one of Portlands homeless. I have since purchased another one and think it is a neat thing to do to help people find a way off the street. The article talked about your project so I did some googling to find out more and found the site. I read through it and had a few questions.

        I like the idea of being rewarded for doing good for those around you and for the planet. It just makes sense to me that our reward system should be geared toward enabling us to flourish rather than run the place into the ground. I plan to read the book you mentioned as well.

        We rent a home right now but want to get a pet for our 7 year old so I’m looking to find another rental and wow! rent rates are ridiculous right now. We don’t have the money saved to purchase so though that is the better choice it is not currently an option for us. That’s why I had asked about housing. Not a big deal as we are happy and healthy.

        I was just checking up on something I’d also looked into some time ago and thought I’d pass it along. It is called common good finance, they have something called rCredits. Here’s the website so you can take a look. I don’t have an account because there are no local communities. They are based on the east coast.

        I feel like the best thing I can do to help with change such as this is to share information that I find with those like you who are actively working to make it a reality. Maybe if all those organizations that are trying to do similar things could talk there would be more brains and resources to help make it a reality for more people. If there is something else I can do to help I would like to know.

        1. Hey there Moirae,
          Thanks for the detailed reply. Good that your family is in a good place. It will be a while before Copiosis implements the housing component. I looked into the rCredits. It is essentially an alternative currency model, but based on the same function as Federal Reserve Notes. We’re interested in creating something wholly different from that model, one that doesn’t have money in it.

          Glad you’re supporting Street Roots. It’s a great paper.

          1. Regarding common good rCredits I realize that it may not be just like your system but by reaching out to others who have a similar sentiment you may find a way to strengthen both. You may also show those that are expecting our current system to be part of the solution, a new and better way. Btw… What opportunities are you looking for to help your progress currently? Thank you for your detailed answers too!

          2. Thanks for that explanation Moirae. It really helps.

            Hmm, regarding what opportunities we’re looking for to help our progress: The number one thing we’re looking for now are the following:

          3. We’re always looking for people who want to help promote what we’re doing, both online and in their communities. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do promotion, but it does require a pretty good knowledge of the innovation to be successful. We’re happy to help with that education.
          4. We’re also looking for people who want to create a demonstration project in their area. The demonstration projects are the key element right now, as the more we have running, the more successful we’ll be in the long run. Creating a demonstration project is not hard, but it does require some particular skills, including commitment, tenacity and, of course, an understanding of how Copiosis works. There’s more requirements for this role. If you’re interested in doing this we can talk about those on Skype.
          5. We have had pretty good success attracting IT people to help with our open source software. But we can always benefit from more help in that area. We are currently working on a project transitioning our software from a .NET environment to open source Linux. Lots of opportunity to help there.
          6. There are opportunities to participate as part of the Payer Organizations which support the demonstration projects. If this is interesting to you, we can talk more about that. Participating as part of the Payer Organizations is a great way to learn more about how the system works, and how the demonstration projects work too.
          7. Translation assistance. As we’re global and becoming more so, we need more people interested in translating some of our core documentation into other languages.
          8. Web design assistance. Our web site is good enough, but it can be better.
            Editing. We have an editor on board as a volunteer, but we can alway use more help in that area.
          9. That’s a pretty good list for now, but it probably doesn’t cover every area of need. Just the critical ones. Which of these sound interesting to you?

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