You are invited to the First Congress for Attribution-Based Economics!

(crossposted to Emacs Reddit)

Dear friends,

Following up on my recent talk at EmacsConf (youtube| toobnix| Q&A), we are prototyping a new economic system in the open source community, and your participation is essential!

What: The First Congress for Attribution-Based Economics. In a nutshell, we will be meeting to appraise participating open source projects as a result of which any financial contributions to these projects will be fairly distributed to contributors and antecedents according to the proportions of value that we agree on.

When: Sat Jan 14 1000 America/Vancouver - 1200 America/Chicago - 1300 America/Toronto - 1800 Etc/GMT - 1900 Europe/Berlin - 2330 Asia/Kolkata – Sun Jan 15 0200 Asia/Singapore

Duration: 3 hours

Where: Online at this (no signup necessary): Gather

We'll meet by the fountain.

You probably have questions:

  1. Do I need to be a contributor to these projects in order to participate?


  1. Do I need some special qualifications to participate?

Having a background in software or finance may help, but it is not required.

  1. You mean, you just want lil' ol' me??

Yes! You are just what we need. But, it would be very helpful if you did a little homework beforehand, which we'll get to below.

The purpose of this congress is to engage in the process of Dialectical Inheritance Attribution, which is a collective process by which we apply agreed-upon standards to the task of appraising and attributing the value of work done in the world. At this initial congress, there are two open source projects on the agenda to be appraised: Symex.el which is an Emacs extension, and Qi, which is a functional DSL on the Racket platform.

In a way, the whole point is that the authors of the work themselves don't need to be part of this appraisal process. It is a service or a utility -- of reflection upon work done -- that is provided by the members of the community (which could include, and in the initial stages, typically would include, the authors of the work) for the benefit of the community.

We will be finding answers to questions like: how valuable is this work? Who contributed that value? Are there any earlier projects whose ideas are reflected in this project? To facilitate this, we will follow a prepared questionnaire that will be distributed at the time of the meeting, and the discussions will be structured around our responses. We will aim to reach consensus at each stage before proceeding.

If you are interested in attending, please fill out the poll linked above for which days and times work for you, to help us pick a good day.

Now regarding the "homework," since we will be engaged in appraising the Symex and Qi projects this time, it will save us time at the congress if everyone has some familiarity with them. Towards this end, here's what you can do. For each participating project:

  1. Look at the README.
  2. Look at the PRs and Issues that have been submitted to the repo to get a sense of the contributors.
  3. Reach out to maintainers and contributors to the project and ask them what contributions they feel were valuable which might not be easy to judge from just the repo pages.
  4. Reach out to community members who are users of the project to find out what they consider to be useful (even if small) contributions made to the project.

Come prepared with any of this information that you are able to obtain. Doing this is not a pre-condition for attendance, but your efforts would be appreciated by the other attendees and would help us arrive at accurate and legitimate outcomes!

Note also that this information is simply going to help us come to a fair and practical decision -- none of it, not even what the maintainers themselves say, is considered decisive! The reason is that the process of DIA is intended to be a kind of Kalman Filter, combining all of the available information to arrive at a globally better answer than any individual one, even if one of those (such as that of the maintainer!) happens to be the most familiar with the project.

Now, in the present case, I am a maintainer of both of the initial participating projects, so, feel free to reach out to me, I won't bite :slight_smile:

DIA also has some counterintuitive properties which it will take time for us to get used to, and the initial meetings will certainly be a learning experience for all of us -- there's a lot still to work out and we are just beginning, so let's help each other iron out the kinks.

Hope to see you there!


Reminder: this is happening on Saturday (I've updated the date/time in the post with timezone information).

If you're planning to attend, please check this wiki page for helpful information in the days and hours leading up to the congress.