I love the idea of currency whose value is not tied to resources but basic humanity. It’s a fascinating idea, and one that begs to be experimented with in small-scale projects.

From Wikipedia: The usual economic incentives have disappeared from the book’s world. Whuffie has replaced money, providing a motivation for people to do useful and creative things. A person’s Whuffie is a general measurement of his or her overall reputation, and Whuffie is lost and gained according to a person’s favorable or unfavorable actions. The question is, who determines which actions are favorable or unfavorable? In Down and Out, the answer is public opinion. Rudely pushing past someone on the sidewalk will definitely lose you points from them (and possibly bystanders who saw you), while composing a much-loved symphony will earn you Whuffie from everyone who enjoyed it.

A gross Whuffie score looks the same to everyone viewing it, but a weighted Whuffie score is subjective. This meta-Whuffie takes into account right-handed Whuffie (the amount given by people you like) and left-handed Whuffie (given by people you dislike). Another variety is pity Whuffie, given to those who are down on their luck.

The idea for Whuffie originated in the book above, written by Cory Doctorow – BoingBoing editor and all-around inspirational dude.


1.29.2008 at 11:30 am