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way - to OS - oecd - foma - money - the dif - to sow - to play - to pay - (revisions)

off to meet the wizards ..

Is your journey really necessary? It's a question we have to keep asking, particularly in such times as these. However, I am invited to the Wizards of OS 2 conference in October...

Open Cultures & Free Knowledge -- House of World Cultures Berlin

Free Software was an eye-opener. It proved that freedom, openness and community work. Which is even more surprising since this was established in the very area of technology that forms the core of the digital "knowledge society" and, as such, is the battlefield for fierce competition. With our eyes now open, it has become clear that open contributory knowledge cultures and community-based innovation can be found most anywhere in law and genetics, in journalism and in the arts. WOS 2 invites representatives of these cultures to Berlin to talk about cooperation and tools, the legal position of informational common goods, different software cultures, security, an open and open source e-government and governance, and a future beyond capitalism.

While the first WOS conference in July 1999 focussed on surveying free software and its practical applications, the WOS 2 will center around the changes in the conditions of intellectual creation of any kind, the mediation of its results and their collaborative continued development. In the "knowledge society", questions of the production, distribution, archiving and reception of software-based knowledge enter center stage. It is precisely this set of topics the WOS 2 want to address.

An event such as this is an opportunity not to be missed. And indeed, in these times, we must do all we can to help bring whatever sense we can to the aid of a senseless world.

To these wizards of cyberspace we will be bringing the good news about money - "it's really not real - it's virtually all virtual". As these wizards already well know, information can be created and managed in all sorts of ways, so they should easily see that the same applies to information based money. Particularly when they see how open money can provide substantial financing for the kinds of collaborative developments the wizards seek to support and how it applies to "opening cultures and freeing knowledge". We are eager to see what they make of it.

On the way to OS and Berlin there will be a few days in Paris to meet with Keith Hart, author of "Money in an Unequal World", and continue working on our joint book - "Common Wealth". We hope our association will lead to a new community of writers - writing neither on the left bank, nor the right, but on the virtual bank. Keith is a fellow panelist at the OS2 conference in Berlin.

Also, as a special bonus, my time in Paris offers a chance to present open money ideas to some people at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, whose views can be influential at high levels of government.

In July, the OECD held a conference on "The Future of Money". From the papers available it seems there is much concern about how new digital technologies might adversely affect the precarious (a matter for prayer) state of conventional financial institutions. Digital money of any nature is generally assumed to be de-stabilizing, but also considered to be of marginal economic significance - so it doesn't really matter, but it does need watching.

We think this is completely wrong, on several counts. It's mainly a lack of vision - the writers scarcely look in any other direction to see anything but bank money,

In Paris we may have a chance to see how our "does-is-from" matrix on the form of money communicates these ideas in something like high places. The sooner we can begin to disseminate this information at these levels the better - everything happens very slowly up there.

It's not about persuading the "powers that be", or seeking their permission, or even support (although the last would be useful). It's rather a matter of alerting some of the officers on the ships of our states to imminent and major changes in the economic seas on which we all try to stay afloat. However, this alert's not about more icebergs, hurricanes or reefs, it's showing the channels to open seas and clear sailing.

Thus we hope to get the open money meme moving, both among wizards of OS, the hackers of the high ground, and also in whatever open minds we meet in the OECD.

These two objectives have both the ring of popular myth. One is to begin preparing the emperors for their next new suits of clothes - "Sire, your last suit was indeed out of sight, but we promise you'll find this new gear is TOTALLY virtual". Our other end is to get some would-be wizards of OS to look behind the curtain of "hard" money (there's really nothing there!)

By the time this article is in print, the meeting of the Wizards of OS2 will probably be over and moving on - the magic never ends, see the web-site www.mikro.org

And look on our website - www.openmoney.org - to read how the OECD and other financial interests responded to the ideas of open money. And of course in the next edition of Kohkoku, out in December.