When the developed world gets over its bias for "printing press–era cash technology" then complementary currencies will be commonplace here too, Rushkoff predicts. He sees a future that has people literally reprogramming their economic systems, using computer networks and handheld devices to administer new forms of grassroots cash. Those currencies could be almost anything: Cash we can use only at one local restaurant, cash cards for Wal-Mart or other chain stores, babysitting dollars we can trade in our neighborhoods.
There are some small examples of people of this future here now. In Japan, people trade “elder-care units,” which are measured in time spent caring for elders in the community, and they've become quite valuable as the population in that country ages. In the United States, hours of service are exchanged via the online Time Bank or locally in Ithaca, New York. Then there are the “Life Dollars,” an electronic currency used in the Pacific Northwest. The experiments have been successful, albeit quite small. The total amount of Ithaca hours in circulation is $100,000, while Life Dollars are used for perhaps $2,000 worth of transactions per month.
Newmark isn't sold on the "craigbucks" idea, but that isn't stopping Rushkoff. "If he doesn't want to do it, I can do it myself," he says with a laugh.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image. But the Illum’s cutting-edge technology records the direction of these rays, generating […]
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