A list of all the sessions is here. Here’s a brief recollection of the sessions I attended.
A Currency Definition Language by Arthur Brock was the first presentation I attended. Arthur identified the problem (borrowing from John Rogers analogy of taking flight) as our having this dashboard of knobs and dials but we don’t know what they are or there’s no agreement on what to call them. On the previous day, John Rogers noted how the complexity of our financial system corrupts our language. (Language corruption also seems like a consequence of private money creation. Who wants to play a game where someone else gets to change the rules? Truman: “if you can’t beat them, confuse them.”)
Arthur, like Bernard Lietaer does with the word community, asks what is the origin of the word currency? If we look it up here, it says curraunt – in circulation. I liked Arthur’s analogy of the flow of currency being like the flow of packets across the Internets: each hop is a transaction. In my experience, I often see ourselves grasping for a word to describe this important aspect of flow. “Velocity” is often used but that word is ineffectual. The right word is right under our nose: currency. But that’s not the agreed upon definition. If you look up currency in wikipedia or any dictionary, they don’t say flow or current. They say unit of exchange. Lame.
Here’s some video from the session with Arthur talking about the undesirable consequence of assuming there’s just one currency. When people say “there’s no market for that,” they’re inherently saying “there’s no demand for that” but that is not true. If you create a niche currency that measures demand, then a new market can be created. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Galloway: “If one ignores a certain protocol, then it becomes impossible to communicate on that particular channel.”
Bill Aal closed the unconference with a question: “How do we unleash that energy that has been locked in that power system that’s embodied in the Federal Reserve?” Then, Bill gave us directions to a nearby bar for drinks. That was a great way to end the unMoney Convergence. Later that evening, I met up with my friend William for seafood at Anthony’s Pier 66. William and I programmed Apple II’s back in high school in Houston. It was fun to compare notes on where we’ve been since then. I stuck around for another day and checked out Office Nomads co-working space and then met up with Anders for sushi and many beers in Belltown.