Friday, July 27, 2012

What if time was money ?

"Time is money" they say. But what if it really was ? Imagine that instead of Euros we earned the Hours we worked. What would happen ? Let's explore this idea.

Well, first of all most inequalities would be gone. One hour of work would simply be worth one Hour of money. No matter what work you do, it all has the same value, which is the amount of time that you into put in. Interestingly there are only 24 hours in a day, so noone could possibily earn more than 24 Hours per day (there you go, a natural limit for the maximum income).

Now, let's see what else could happen. Today, most of the money circulating is created by banks through debts (with all the negative consequences that has, if you are interested in knowing more, check out this documentary). Imagine that there is no organism that can issue Hours, but that Hours can solely be created through work. So you work 3 Hours and « puff », 3 Hours are introduced into the system and they belong to you. It's not government or banks who have the power : it's just us and our ability to work.

This means that the whole power structure of employer and employee crumbles at once. Let me explain. What happens today is that you look for a job so you can earn money. However, for someone to hire you, that person (or company) needs to own a lot of money, or to have borrowed it from a bank. So you are dependend of those who 1) have accumulated wealth, or 2) have borrowed tons of money (and thus are in fact paying you with debt). In this new Hour system however, your employer does not give you Hours in exchange for your work. You create the Hours through your work (i.e. as you work, new Hours are introduced into the system and they belong to you).

What does this mean ? That anyone can hire anyone for any kind of task ! (without the need to have accumulated wealth first) Which means : an abundance of work (there are so many things that can be done today, but are not being done for the lack of money). Which means : gone is unemployment (and probably also gone are the majority of crimes). Which means : gone is also slavery. Cause, if there are so many tasks that you can choose from in order to earn some Hours, you will think twice before doing a job that is degrading, that exploits you, or harms others and society. All those things we accept to do today in fear of loosing our precious income are gone : cause income we can generate by doing any work we choose! And work is in abundance !

It sounds crazy doesn't it? But I like it !:)

PS : I am very curious about your reactions. I feel like I have stepped into some kind of  "mind-trap" and thus can't see a "very obvious problem" with this Hour system. Sure, it's not a thought through system. It's just a crazy idea which I hope points towards new possibilities. It's an idea for discussion. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

A crisis of willingness

Serving the economy
When money was first invented it probably was a great invention. It facilitated transactions and perhaps it even enabled wealth distribution. In other words: money served us. Today our monetary system has grown into a capricious monster with a life own called the economy. The economy needs to be well-fed and taken care of, otherwise beware of divine wrath!... When upset, the economy first growls to spread fear and make everyone serve it even harder. When that is not enough it just launches an attack and swallows people...
Today money doesn't serve us, we serve it. We are enslaved to economy.

A crisis made out of thin air
Today the economy is growling again and has started swallowing people as well. It's crisis. If we take distance from the economy for a moment however we will see that the most essential things that build our world have not changed.
  • Did food production suddenly drop drastically so that many need to die from hunger? NO. In fact there is enough food being produced today on the planet to provide everyone with a 2700 kcal diet per day [1]. Hunger and malnutrition are unnecessary.
  • Did the world population suddenly drop so that there are now not enough people to work and create the food and comforts that we all so cherish? NO. On the contrary many are unemployed.
  • Did the physical and digital infrastructures that we have suddenly collapse? NO. The world has never been as connected as it is today! Never has it been as easy to share information, ideas and resources.

What does this mean? It means that in principle we have all the infrastructure, natural resources and manpower necessary to keep everyone happy on this planet.

So what is this crisis really about? The only crisis I see is a crisis of willingness. The willingness to open our eyes and see that today we can abandon the old paradigm and build a better world. The willingness to put our differences aside, unite as humanity and create those conditions that will allow the maximum amount of people to live healthy, comfortable and happy lives.

Open your eyes: We can abandon slavery and build a better world.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The voices in my head

I sat down to meditate a few days ago, trying to silence my mind. However, thought kept arising and I took a moment to observe them.

I realized that there are several types of thoughts or voices. Each voice has its own character. There is:

The (micro-)manager: Constantly telling me about the things that I should do. "You still have to do this.", "Oh, do not forget to do that too.". "When you open your computer, don't forget to send an email to X, and don't forget to mention that ....." etc, etc, etc. Making a to-do-list shuts her up usually. But sometimes she just goes on, and on, and on....

The DJ: This one loves playing music! This usually is fun, unless of course she is playing an annoying song. Or unless I want to meditate! ;)

The VJ: This one loves playing back scenes and conversations from my life. Unfortunately she quiet often shows me those parts that make me feel insecure and/or ashamed. When I am lucky, she shows me fleeting images of beautiful moment. Then other times she also plays back neutral scenes for no apparent reason.

The blogger: Whenever I have an insight or follow a trail of thought, this voice translates everything into words. She loves describing my thoughts and experiences in a way that will allow me to share them. She is also quiet obsessed with finding the right words and often rephrases... Persistently she keeps on repeating her "wonderful" phrases until I write them down (which I am doing now). PS: I think she is rather vain and has some issues with her mortality.

The simpleton: This voice makes me laugh! When all the other voices have been silenced this one pops-up and says something like: "I am sitting!", "I am here!" or "I am!". She loves stating the obvious! I guess she likes to affirm her existence.

The lunatic (or: the politician): I sometimes hear her talking right before I fall asleep. She always seems to be talking about something mightily interesting and oh, so intellectual! She talks of things that are beyond me and her beautiful, impressive words flow like a waterfall. However, whenever I try to zoom-in and understand what she is saying she stops! As a result I never know what she is talking about, but I suspect that her speech has no true substance.

The observer: Of course there must be someone experiencing all of this, listening to all these thoughts. I call her the observer. Usually she is the one acknowledging feelings and listening to the voices.

After having experienced this I get the feeling that I most definitely am not my thoughts. Thought just happen in me, that is all...Who am I then? I don't know, but it makes me very curious about what others think or have experienced along these lines.