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October 5, 2007

Freeconomy Site Launched

I just read about this new site http://www.justfortheloveofit.org for people to network and share.

The guy who started it is walking from Ireland to India with no money. Check it out: http://www.justfortheloveofit.org/p_story.php

May 31, 2007

Sharing Couches

Wow, this not-for-profit site connects travellers around the world with free places to stay!
http://www.couchsurfing.com

and this one does too: http://www.globalfreeloaders.com!

October 14, 2006

Buy Your Friend A Beer

Some of these ideas around alternative economics can seem overwhelming, but here's one most people can get their head around. You're at a bar, and someone buys you a beer. Lucky you! You've just entered a gift economy.

The interesting thing about gift economies is implied trust. If someone buys you a beer, there are usually some unspoken strings attached. Either you are expected to reciprocate and buy the person a beer later that night or later in the week. Or there are unspoken expectations that you will repay the gift in other ways like a ride to the airport, helping the giver move into a new apartment, or less tangible things like personal attention or support. The exchange is implicit.

If the exchange isn't completed, meaning in our example you do not buy your friend a beer later that night, or do not return the phone call when your friend asks for a ride to the airport, there are consequences. You may feel guilty, you may gain a reputation as a flake amongst your friends, and worse yet, your friend may never buy you a beer again.

In this way, rather than "getting something for free," gift economies encourage and strengthen trust between those involved.

October 3, 2006

The Really Really Free Market

So we're visiting San Francisco and checking out the local economic alternatives. Unfortunately we won't be here for the last Saturday of the month, when the San Francisco Really Really Free Market (RRFM) is held outside in gorgeous Dolores Park.

Over the past couple years a number of strong Really Really Free Markets have developed around the US. The basis for these markets is the belief that our interpersnal exchanges can and should be based on community development and improving our collective lives, not individual profit. From the San Francisco RRFM's website: "As a community we have many more resources than we do as individuals. If we share our resources we won't need to buy as many new ones. This uses fewer of the Earth's resources, and fewer of our working hours, leaving us more time to devote to ourselves and our communities."

For more information on the San Francisco RRFM go here and for more general info on RRFMs, go here.

September 24, 2006

Gift Economies

The Wikipedia entry on gift economies is extensive with excellent links.