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Hamster Kibble top-up update

This is the last day of the Corrente kibble top-up fundraiser. Amazingly, at least to somebody as predisposed to angst as I am, this fundraiser beat the goals ahead of schedule. (I guess Yves was right to call it "modest.") A huge thank you to everyone, because this really takes the edge off.

I had contemplated a second fundraiser based on the site improvements and direction -- this fundraiser just past covered server costs -- but I'm going to push that back to the regular September time, because although I can do site development here, I have a huge critique of Phillip Bobbitt's Shield of Achilles and his concept of "the market state" in mind, and it's taking awhile to complete.

What I have done, instead, is reinstate, with WePay, the subscription buttons that used to exist in PayPal. However, I put the subscriptions on a different basis:

I'd like to see if we can get the Corrente gift economy to the third of three possible levels:

#1: Eight $25 monthly subscriptions ($200) pays for the server infrastructure.

This was the PayPal model, and amount.

#2: Sixteen $25 monthly subscriptions ($400) pay for the server infrastructure and some of lambert's bills ($400).

#3 Thirty two $25 subscriptions ($800) pay for the server, some of lambert's bills, with $400 to be used for some good purpose Correntians decide on. Yes, we can all donate to causes on our own, but I'm guessing that together we will come up with new ideas. Yes, we'd have to bootstrap an online decision-making process, but I think a virtual GA (let's call it) is a good thing to have figured out how to do. Readers?

NOTE "Between level" subscriptions go up a level, e.g. at $600, $200 goes "up" to a cause, not "down" to bills.

I honestly think that #3 would be a real achievement. If we recall, one of the weaknesses of Occupy General assemblies is that the required people to be physically present. It would seem that a virtual decision making process would be the answer to this. But can such a thing be achieved, with all the issues of online identity and behavior? I'm guessing yes, but something "real" has to be at stake to prove this....

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I offer a choice of three:
My favorite, Julia Williams for Congress, it would be nice to see Corrente Wire support one of our own and I would like us to be the first blog to organize for an emergent party candidate. If we lead others might follow and other Green candidates might get online support.

Furthermore, $400 passes for real money for a Green Candidate and it would lay the ground work for future Green wins.

Alternative possbilities: STREATS, an organization run by homeless people to move homeless people into employment and out of homelessness.

Empower DC, a local organization dedicated to citizen action and fighting the local kleptocracy.

So, fellow Correntians, don't be shy, what are your favorite causes?

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

During these hard times, it is a generous and brave idea. I sincerely would appreciate any support, but the ability of this blog to penetrate the blogosphere, and generate interest and education for the Greens is worth more than gold, really. (Now to try and update my website-a work long overdue)

Submitted by hipparchia on

the subscriptions link takes me to a login page, with absolutely NO description of what it is i may be paying for.

people should be able to read about the project you're asking for money for before being asked to log into a payment system.

Submitted by lambert on

Actually, the content at that link was quoted in this page.

Submitted by lambert on

When we make the subscription goal -- and it only takes 32 people -- These are some of the things I was thinking of.

1. I don't want to follow the FDL model and make subscribing a basis for "access" or increased decision making power (rather like NPR). The history of Corrente makes it crystal clear that those with almost no money -- a lot less money than me, even -- can make great contributions to the blog and even shift the discourse.

2. I don't want to have a personal "candidate" for funding or lead the decision making (as a lawyer would lead a witness).

3. I am a not-malevolent dictator -- sorry, that seems to be the way most efforts online work except for 4chan -- but I'd like to confine my authoritarian impulses to (a) vetoing anything that would "make the blog look bad" (which would have to be really bad, on the order of donating to climate denialists, for example), and (b) approving the initial process bootstrapping (since anything else involves a logical infinite regress).

4. If the funding goes to a party (for example, the Greens), a form needs to be devised so that Corrente as such isn't endorsing the Greens. "Corrente is not part of any political tribe or faction." This could be done by having a group of Correntians doing the donation, having been delegated the power to do so by Corrente.

5. Somebody, besides me, needs to think about what an online decision making process would look like. Voting? Consensus? Modified consensus? When money is involved, people tend to get a little iffy, sometimes. Joe? IVCS on a small scale?

6. As far as platform, I've been thinking of something like our online chat system, with a signup period, and meetings, live, in chat form. I'd go so far as to strongly urge chat as part of the bootstrapping process, as opposed to blog and comments. I think chat scales out in a way that blog and comments do not -- to #irc channels, for example.

7. Since money is involved, I can see being flooded by new members with agendas. That's good from a readership standpoint, but potentially community destroying. If I see that happening, I'll figure out a way to weight sign-ups by past posts and comments on the blog. (That makes sense, since in a world of handles, the only proof of identity is sustained writing over time; le stile c'est la personne. So, strong, committed identities get better karma.)

8. The process is subject to the moderation rules.

9. Again, for subscribers, I think the real ... fruits (I'm trying to avoid words like gold, or treasure, or win) of this endeavor is not simply doing good, but setting up a scalable and replicatable online process for doing some good.

The true lefties are almost always isolated, right? Even if we are at least 16% of the population (taking the view that ObamaCare isn't left enough as a proxy for the size of "the left"). Well, one way to end that is online.

Submitted by hipparchia on

4. If the funding goes to a party (for example, the Greens), a form needs to be devised so that Corrente as such isn't endorsing the Greens. "Corrente is not part of any political tribe or faction."

good point, one i hadn't thought of, really.

This could be done by having a group of Correntians doing the donation, having been delegated the power to do so by Corrente.

better maybe to not donate to electoral politics at all, then. sounds like this could get into thebtransparency and FEC rules weeds pretty quickly if we had what amounts to a HamsterPAC.

Submitted by hipparchia on

1. I don't want to follow the FDL model and make subscribing a basis for "access" or increased decision making power (rather like NPR). The history of Corrente makes it crystal clear that those with almost no money -- a lot less money than me, even -- can make great contributions to the blog and even shift the discourse.

i really really like this. glad you made it #1 on your list!

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

at first precisely because, barring a change for the better, I will not be contributing to any cause however worthy. Those with disposable income will be the defacto decision makers in any fundraising effort as they will decide they want to participate or not.

$400 will not be sufficient to make us players or inundate with new members with agendas.

So what do others think, so we want to raise money for a cause, and if so, who or what? And what should the decision making process look like?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

$400/month would be a major windfall, even for a major party candidate. I thought that we were planning to raise $400 total.

but as you say, do we want to put this into electoral politics?

fellow Correntians, what do you think?

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

type situation (without the criminals, obviously) in the sense that $$ could be loaned to start ups, people who are desperate for a short-term loan, etc., with the idea it could be paid back (or not, depending on the situation).

I don't know about donating to politicians -- personally, the outcomes have been pretty terrible, but who knows, maybe there's someone decent out there. Never say never, right?

Submitted by lambert on

Do the math, it would only take 32 people a month. Surely there are 32 people in the United States?

I think whether electoral or not is to be discussed. Suffice to say that it would have an impact in that field, or perhaps others.