I’ve watched this video a couple of times (ok, once) and I’m still not really sure what it’s about – something to do with democratising biotech. I found the advert quite irritating to be honest, but I find everything quite irritating so don’t worry about that. It’s interesting from a number of different directions, because…
a) it’s about democratising biotech, and that is kindof vital for the survival of humanity I think and
b) they talk about safety, and I’ve argued with these people, and they don’t even know what the issues are and
c) It’s on Kickstarter…. and it’s maxed it’s funding – $35000 with 239 people – an average of around $150 each… though I’m guessing there’s some fairly big numbers in there so the median will probably be a whole lot lower. This is ostensibly crowd-sourced funding… but 239 people isn’t really a crowd. It doesn’t take much to do a lot.
I have a feeling that the Biocuriosity people are fairly hyper-connected/active networkers though – 239 is still probably more than I could do. I’d get about 4 – So it ain’t money for nothing I don’t think. Still… it looks like a working model to me. I’ve been looking for “ways for people to get paid” for a while now… we still need a way to pay people after the fact – people who make things that are no longer sold as physical goods. Musicians, film-makers writers etc. I still want a way to send Trixie something for this:
But in some meaningful way – not as a random donation… something concrete… like buying her groceries for a week or getting her a set of guitar strings or something. And although it’s less important (to me) I’d still like to get something back… whether it be some physical thing through the post or reputation capital maybe. Dunno. Money is still locked-in to the notion of “exchange”, and it feels kindof weak just sending it into the ether. Still… there’s probably enough stuff in the post at the moment. If she has a million fans then the whole thing could get a bit eco-angry. And what are we buying in the end? Identity?
There’s got to be a way through this.
Back to reality, I’d say cottage industries are the way to go… based on this graphic
But there are issues of scalability – but… maybe that’s not a problem. Maybe it’s ok for a musician to employ neighbours, friends, fans blah blah to act as mail-order-fulfillment nodes. Maybe it doesn’t have to mega corporation doing it all – with the inevitable consequence that it becomes a parasitic gate-keeper. Maybe there is a way of networking the distribution of… stuff.
I’m not sure why, but this reminds me of Renaissance Florence (I was there you know) – even the wealthy families – the bankers and merchants and so on, still had little shops built into the gate-house-bits of their houses. Selling basic sundries – everyone had a cottage-industry-retail business going on the side.