Sunday, September 15, 2013

Economics 2.0 Unbounded Upside: Pay-Forward Debit Karma Society

Unbounded upside is a concept applicable to future economics and the economy 2.0, but also the whole future more generally.

So far, in much our human endeavor, we have been oriented around a baseline and the goal of maintaining, achieving, or re-achieving that baseline, completely ignoring all of the possible outcomes on the positive side of the base line.

In finance and credit, loans are made, and the best anyone can hope for is to regain baseline, to have all of the monies repaid, or to achieve an as perfect as possible credit score.

We do not even have terminology for the conceptual opposite of credit, but what would a society based on debit, positive credit, or paid-forward karma look like? 

One vision is considering that in our societies, the financial surplus and resources already exist, and could be apportioned away from bureaucratic programs to instead pay-forward every person a sustainable living allowance each month or year. This would shift the focus to unbounded upside as everyone wonders what can they do not what they have to do for survival.

Regaining baseline is also the paradigm in other areas such as medicine and psychology: cure is returning a pathology to baseline, not going beyond baseline to improved wellness, enhancement, or future prevention. The advent of new fields such as Positive Psychology in the 2000s helps to expose the pervasive baseline mentality and potential expansions therefrom.

As it has been easier and more obvious to focus on reductionist practices in science, so too has been easy and a clear view to focus on the territory below baseline because it is a bounded defined area, whereas above baseline is open and unbounded, in other words, pure opportunity in the most Deleuzian and Bergsonian sense.

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