[iDC] Time Banks, Playgrounds, and Factories
jhopkins at tech-no-mad.net
Wed Sep 23 14:07:21 UTC 2009
> I think the important insight that travels from free software to money is this. Power lies in the code and in the invisible structures that enable or disenable actions and relationships, what Alexander Galloway calls 'protocolarry power'.
> The great insight of the current age is that money has a code as well. But just as we do not have the power to change the code of microsoft, we do not have (yet) the power to change to code of political money, so the alternative world-constructing route is to peer produce our own, differently coded money.
This brings up the thought that code and money are both likewise abstracted
representations of Power that have to be actualized through two processes: 1) a
participatory social grouping who choose to believe (have faith) in the power of
the abstraction to cause material change in their lived existence and 2) a means
for the abstracted instrument to interface with a real (material) regime of
existence. Power, in the end has to be or has to have available a way to apply
itself to life, to an individual life, to be delivered (as that change).
For example, code describes what a device can or should do in theory. It needs
the device to make that actually happen. Code without the physical transmission
of power (kilo-calories, joules, megawatts, whatever) is a complete abstraction
and is of no consequence. The machine or interface that actualizes the code is
embedded in a specific field of power flows -- i.e., the electrical generation
and delivery system, manufacturing systems that depend on transportation
networks which depend on hydrocarbon fuel power, etc. This larger techno-social
infrastructure that is essentially a field of directed energy flows depends on a
whole host of humans believing that the code will ultimately improve their lives
on earth. If there arises a doubt that the code will do this, the whole system
starts to unravel. If it becomes clear that the code is failing to bring power
to the user, they will stop putting their life-energy into propping up that
The code of religious teaching, the code of social behavior, the code of the
machine, and the code of economic instrument all have the characteristic that
they are completely dependent on being actualized this way, else they have NO
power. In the end, the code is merely a socially prescribed pathway along which
real energy is forced to flow.
Faith in code(d abstraction) produces a shared or centralized capital of
potential power, but there always needs to be a tangible means for translation
from code to be-ing. The body is the primary means for code to become lived
action or the source of applied and energetic change. That would be the minimum
device necessary, all other devices are simply amplifications of the
With the demonstration of faith as an applied and directed energy flow through a
code comes the often terrifying expression of directed social power. On the
other hand, when the individual participant in a social system seeks and
finds/makes expression not according to The Code, the dominant collective
immediately loses a fraction of its ability to direct energy as it wills.
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