Bear with me on this one, because it's a critical idea whose time has most definitely come: Some clever software could change the world as we know it. We don't need banks to use money, or make transactions. We don't need overpaid MPs and elitist Lords to make democratic decisions. We don't need middle-men to pile on margins to trade goods. We don't need corporations to bring us news or media. All we need are networks of trust. Ideally we need a self-regulating, international network, built on openness and transparency which rewards co-operation and utilises a combination of factors to assess reputation and trust. But linking people to other people, registering common patterns and links and transactions and relationships, storing values and processing multiple factors is exactly what software is good at! I'll say it again: Some clever software could change the world as we know it. If you understand that money is nothing more than an agreement and that democracy means you are supposed to 'have a say', it is not hard to see how software could help humanity build a system which might possibly supersede the existing capitalist hypocrisy. Still not getting it? Imagine a huge social network (like Face Book but with ethics and a purpose) in which people create 'offers' and 'wants'. These could be for food, jobs, goods, anything you can trade and could be rated and ranked for 'sustainability', incentivising people to pick the least planet-damaging option. Payments could be made in a new kind of 'money' that was based on something real, like food or energy for example. One unit of energy might buy a loaf of bread from the local baker but one from the next town might cost two. Now imagine that all the users were mapped, so you could see where they were and which ones would be affected by which decisions. It would be easy to ask the people who would be affected by a plan to build a new road or nuclear reactor what they thought, and factor in their opinions with more relevance than someone living on the other side of the country. Delivered correctly and with enough users these two, simple bits of software could out-date the existing monetary and decision-making systems. It's a big idea, which comes to people in different ways. My own 'epiphany' was in 2004 after-which I wrote the paper 'Participatory Democracy Networks' and less than a year later I helped found The Open Co-op. (Check out the cartoon and screen-shots of the proposed software PlaNet for a more detailed explanation of the vision). Since then I have watched other people have the same ideas and embark on 'world-changing web ventures' with mixed success but none of them have achieved a tenth of the ultimate vision. But it's an idea that isn't going away and more will try where others have failed. We can learn from each other's mistakes, we can achieve more if we collaborate - nowhere is this more apparent than in software development. So where is the 'digital plexus' project on Source Forge? Where's the 'system 2' from Stafford Beers Viable System Model which allows members with a shared purpose 'to communicate between each other' and assists in the 'monitoring and co-ordination of activities'? Until someone suggests there is something better, this thread is here for that purpose: To monitor the advent of the 'digital plexus' or 'ethical web' as some like to call it, and all the wonders that it might bring.

I liked this link too, thanks

I liked this link too, thanks Josef:
These guys are doing VERY important work trying to build Project Landscape Maps in order to identify potential relationships where there might be synergy and space for collaboration between similar projects.

Have you seen the Trust Maps

Have you seen the Trust Maps website? :)

I have now :) and I now trust

I have now :) and I now trust you for social media!
It's quite a complex process / site to get your head around.
No doubt very important for the future of the web, like they say, but until more people register and create more things to trust others on (tags), which didn't seem that easy, it's of limited use.

Perhaps there should be somewhere to propose things people could trust you on, or you want to trust them on, or some sort of basic 'bio' within the trustmap system (pulled in from your networks?) so you can see who you might want to trust about what without having to visit their various profiles all over the web?

The concept is great tho, as is the simplicity of integrating all your different social media accounts.

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