Market Curiosity: Exploring Markets And Systems

June 25, 2012

Antifragile securitization of info could advance communication, freedom, conflict resolution, prosperity and anti-manipulation

Filed under: Editorials, Systems — Tags: , , , , — Jeff Fitzmyers @ 11:39 am

Superseded by Castpoints: Using Nature’s Economic Paradigm To Manage All Resources Resulting In Win-Win Transactions.

Universal issues: Non-payment for adding value, info overwhelm, rampant non-truths, trolls.

Marc Stiegler’s 1999 science fiction book, Earthweb, coined “castpoints” as a way for humans to manage billions of real time suggestions dealing with incoming marauding aliens. He graciously gave me permission to use the term “castpoints”.

CASTPOINTS is likely the next major step in digital communications. It unites Kurzweil’s Singularity, Davidson’s Sovereign Individual, and Taleb’s Antifragility, via self regulating plugins for WordPress, Facebook, email, etc. It uses an optional cost to post for: paying value adders, conflict resolution, private performance bonds, winnowing and promotion of value, making untruths expensive (via paying untruth finders), all as directly as possible based on transactions and feedback loops, not opinions. People WANT to pay to post valuable info because the more they add value, the more they can profit and build their reputation, and it’s fun!

Castpoints (PATENT PENDING) levels the economic playing field by superseding indirect revenue models like ad’s with direct compensation for adding value. Therefore, most can profit safely, while fossilizing trolls, lame ads, poor info, info overwhelm, and spam.

Control and capital automatically flow from centrally controlled debt slaves and masters, to better decision makers, engendering thriving sovereign individuals.


  • Hierarchical control systems are superseded by distributed, emergent, localized self-correcting stewardship.
  • Posters of valuable content earn money and build reputation.
  • Those who successfully challenge non-truths, or posting of stolen property, get paid.
  • Valuable content is automatically promoted to higher levels of visibility and revenue by others – because it’s profitable to all involved.
  • Real time supply and demand info highlights what the market values so content posters can deploy resources efficiently, while content consumers can narrow their focus.
  • Private performance bonds are built in.
  • Conflict resolution is built in and handled quickly and profitably by local experts.
  • Deterrents and amends result from contractual consequences, not fiat force.
  • People actually want advertisers to participate. People will either be informed of valuable products, or get some of an advertiser’s cost to post.
  • Advertisers want to participate because they get sales and or valuable feedback.
  • Most significant variables self configure based on supply and demand.


Paul Rosenberg: “… if you get something you value, one way or another, some time or another, you should pay for it… But many people won’t, and we simply do not have a mechanism for incenting the voluntary compliance … It’s a real problem.” [until castpoints]

“I see reputation managers as core to the success of the Web… Quality assessments must become an explicit component of most Web user interfaces.” – Jakob Nielson

“The path to maximum prosperity will depend on finding ways to build economic systems in which new niches will generate spontaneously and abundantly.” – Stuart A. Kauffman

“The [] markets offer a great way to track the market-based consensus on political and current events. People put real money on the line in making predictions, which is better than snap judgments in opinion polls or no-stakes views of pundits.” – Tom Gallagher, ISI Group

Most new projects in the realm of crowd sourcing and prediction markets march toward the nexus of castpoints. Early efforts are basically futures markets, burdened with regulations, high specificity, and derivatives. Recent efforts work around this by applying aspects of free market economics to a particular project. None of them are integrated with performance bonds and conflict resolution, two critical components needed for a complete system. Castpoints is general enough for use in most content situations, complete enough to cover most situations, and (aside from the money part) direct, simple and boring enough to be hard to regulate. Stepping stones:

  • Idea Futures. 1995 Wired article by Robin Hanson.
  • Google. Aparently the main idea is to rank how others value information which then allows others to try to game the ranking system. Castpoints is imune to gaming since the posters rank information directly.
  • The U.S. Idea Futures Exchange (USIFEX) (defunct?)
  • The Foresight Exchange Prediction Market
  • Allvoices. Payments seem arbitrarily chosen and it appears the revenue model is ads all over their site.
  • Kickstarter Has “rewards” for helping fund projects. Very vertical; seems to work.
  • Hitrecord. Open collaborative production company. Looks fun.
  • Looks well done and seems to be the leader now. Robin Hanson is the chief scientist. It seems rather vertical. Many “market parameters” are reportedly fine tuned and or have oversight. Castpoints adds private performance bonds, conflict resolution, generality, natural hierarchy. It appears people bring info to Consensus Point to be securitized, while castpoints securitizes info at, and by, the source. Their website has interesting examples.

Litmus test 1: Do criminals find it useful? Yes: From crowdsourcing to crime-sourcing: The rise of distributed criminality.
Litmus test 2: Is it fun? The Consensus Point GE example noted how participants had fun. This is a critical point. When people are having fun, they are doing what the love to do and are invested in doing it well.


  • Money enters via:
    • Posting a new thread.
    • Rating any post.
    • Voluntarily, publicly, and verifiably – paying for use of content. (a small part)
  • Money exits via payments to:
    • Dividends to value adders.
    • Transaction fee to forum owner.

Publishers pay to post new threads. They use realtime estimated ROI’s to publish where they will likely be profitable. Publishers can also conditionally publish so that the post is only published if specific criteria are met. Such as a a minimum estimated ROI of 25%. (Although castpoints is money agnostic, silver milligrams are used as the default base denomination due to it’s universality. Later, the account holder might specify preferred payment types, which could even be local scripts.)

Consider the “Current Costs To Post New Thread In…” sample screen shot.”

cast roi dec 12 2012

  • Mean value rating %: The rating for all posts in a category. The lower the rating, the more a valued post can earn. If the number is high, a post has to be pretty valuable just to break even.
  • Agmg conviction sum of past 28 days on site and off site: This info denotes the amount of focus people are giving threads and to some extent how likely a post is to go viral.
  • Mean spawn income preference %: The percent a poster receives directly if their post is promoted. If a person thinks a post is good, they can take the risk and or reward of republishing it on a big site where the post costs are high. The lower the Max Spawn Income percent, the more likely the post will be republished.
  • Cost to post new thread: the current cost of posting a new thread immediately, including a bit of past price history. Formula described below.
  • Cued conditional posts: All possible posts are transparently listed.
  • Estimated ROI based on your rating: using the cost to post, a posters current rating in a category, the estimated ROI is show with a confidence interval of 90%.

… and then fill out the publishing form to start a new thread:

Post types:

  • General: just info.
  • FYI, response optional: Allows others to be directly notified. Could be used for discussing a homeowners association, proposal, focus groups, etc. Participation is optional.
  • Response required: Only officially used when backed by a contract.
  • Challenge: Used to formally question a post’s assertions, or an entity. Participation is required, or else challenger wins.

New post cost is automatically determined by real time supply and demand ( Site wide ( STD( last 15 publishings) * AVG( last 3 posts ) ) * 0.5 ) + ( 
Thread ( STD( last 15 publishings ) * AVG( last 3 posts ) ) * 0.5 ). Projected cost trends can be visually examined. (Possibly add “Minimum maturity level: Anyone, teenagers, grown ups, other.” since it can finally be enforced.)

Others can optionally rate what posts are worth to them.

  • Republish credit is the info that follows a post that allows castpoints to know who to pay based on their indicated spawn income percentage.
  • “% Valuable” is what percent of the post the rater deems valuable and or adding value to the thread.
  • “Conviction” Optional. Indicates how strongly the rater feels about their rating. The numerical values range from 1 to the max of (highest the user has used in the past month, or the highest on the post so far). The scale rises exponentially for about 15 specific numerical choices. ~$x = exp( ( log( $row[max_reply_conviction] ) / 6 ) * $i ).

A rated post’s subject and author lines displays simple initial statistics:

Misinterpreting Value Is Easy 84% V, 75% C, 2 days ago.
By Jeff 84% V, 75% C 

  • “84% V” is the median percent value rating: people decided that 84% of the post is valuable.
  • “75% C” is the rank of total conviction compared to all other posts in that category. Rank is also used to keep the income of poster semi private. (Rank is rounded to steps of 5.)

Max spawn income: If republished in full, this is the percent of all income the original publisher gets from any republishings. If a person thinks a post is good, they can take the risk and or reward of republishing it on a big site where the post costs are high. The lower the Max Spawn Income percent, the more likely the post will be republished.

Instead of hat tips and not being able to easily pay people for value, people can credit a poster directly. This is partly an effort to supersede non tangible patents. If a publishing is not reposted in full, the compensation formula = % of the reused post * % the reused post makes up the new post. So if 25% of an old post makes up 2% of a new post, the first poster gets 0.25 * 0.02 = 0.002 of profit from the new post. Not revenue. This is how something self-defines as “commercial” or “non-commercial”. Example:

… A problem with science, then, isn’t that most experiments fail — it’s that most “failures are ignored.” (Credited 0.2% to Seraphina Fox) It’s challenging to ignore valuable information when money is involved…

Clicking the “Credited…” link will verify the basic stats of the transaction.

The payment cycle is every 7 days after a post and continues indefinitely as long as republishing and or replies continue. The formula is the product of a poster’s value ranking and total conviction, with distribution skew balanced at 50% of a thread’s mean value rating. If a thread mean rating drops to say 45%, the distribution skew rises to pay out 5% more to posts rated above 50% which attracts more valuable posts. This means that it is easy to identify where a little value can make relatively large returns.

Any money from inactive accounts (over 1 year with no activity) becomes dividends.

A performance bond’s amount is a poster’s trailing 3 month maximum post cost times 3. Each castpoint escrows this by withholding 25% of each dividend.

Posts that don’t follow a sites contracted rules of conduct can be “challenged” by anyone with a rank over 50% and a funded performance bond account.
The basic contract for each party including service provider: (Partly from Richard Maybury.) Do all you say you are going to do. Don’t infringe on other people or their property. Make amends by cleaning up inevitable mistakes. Make the difference between fact, and non-fact, clear. This is strict…

  • NOT challengeable: “I think people will love the taste of this new recipe.”
  • Challengeable: “People love the taste of this new recipe.” Better be able to show independently verifiable proof within 6 weeks, otherwise don’t post.

Conflict resolution:

  • This has zero to do with inefficient “precedent” nor “punishment” nor “laws”. Either a contract is honored, or not.
  • A “challenged contract” case is settled at 6 weeks.
  • If the challenged does not respond, they default.
  • Resolvers are self selected and post either “Responsible” or “Not responsible” with reasoning.
  • A resolver’s post can also be rated, commented on, and “challenged”.
  • It only takes one resolver’s decision. If more than one resolver posts, 75% need to agree, or the challenger is held responsible. If no resolver posts, the challenger is held responsible.
  • If the challenged is found NOT responsible, 50% of the challenger’s performance bond is paid to the challenged. If the challenged is held responsible, 50% of their performance bond is paid out.
 If the challenger is not the entity who owns the property, the property owner and challenger split the payout 50:50. (People can challenge someone on behalf of someone else.)
  • Resolvers basic rules: Only consider independently verifiable facts. Another resolver has to add value, not just a “me too.” Otherwise they can be challenged.

Reporter checks topics in an area of expertise and finds that demand is high right now but quality seems low. Reporter finalizes some fact checking and posts article at a cost of 100 Agmg.
A) Success! Other’s give article high value ratings with conviction. When dividends are paid at the end of 7 days, the reporter is paid 125 Agmg.
B) No so successful. Other’s give article low value ratings with low or high conviction. When dividends are paid, the reporter is paid 50 Agmg. The reporter can study replies for constructive criticism, and rate a few good ones.

Proofreader replied to newsletter poster about a few typos with a value rating and zero conviction. The newsletter poster replies to the proofreader with a high rating and some conviction. This particular forum uses settings that if a poster has a rating of over 75% but zero conviction, the site pretends the poster has a conviction of 10 Agmg’s. It’s basically a marketing cost.

Middle person sees a post on a small website they think has a lot of value. They promote it to a large website at a cost of 1,000 Agmg.
Path A) Success! The middle person gets paid 1,200 Agmg in 7 days, and the original poster gets (say) 100 Agmg due to their Max Spawn Income of 10%.
Path B) Not so successful. Middle person gets paid 700 Agmg, and original poster get 30 Agmg due to their Max Spawn Income of 10%.


  • Advertisers – For the first time in written history, ads are welcome because people either get good info, or get the advertisers’ money.
  • Copyright holders — This is an evolution of copyright: paid for adding value rather than fighting to protect value. Transparency promotes paying others for content, even what is “fair use”, so they don’t look cheap.
  • Forum owners – Finally have a built in conflict resolution process to manage trolls and flame wars.
  • Regulators – Takes a huge load off what government is “supposed to do”, and essentially spreads it to local people who are probably experts in the field, and who are compensated.
  • People with no money – If they add value, they will get money. They can start with literally zero money and, say, organize a FAQ page, correct typos, etc.
  • Small publishers – Can have much more fine grained and direct info regarding supply and demand of their topics of interest. If a post goes viral, they can make a lot of money and reputation very quickly with no additional effort. Just answering questions about their viral post exposes them to more compensation.
  • Lurkers – Can explore in an environment with a minimum of trolls and relatively more confidence about the quality of information.
  • Email readers – allows senders and readers to prioritize messages. Makes spamming expensive, and people are generally happy to have their email address public.

Those who might need to find a different job:

  • Anyone addicted to opaque control of others via force, complexity, and manipulation.
  • Big gov– people will govern themselves at a local level.
  • Many courts – Too unfair, untimely, and expensive.
  • Many lawyers – Many of their jobs can be done for a micro-fraction of the cost and time.
  • Non truth tellers, trolls – Constantly costs them.
  • Politicians – those “represented” will instantly want politicians using castpoints. Finally, an easy way to make money off politicians instead of the other way around.

Almost impossible to do on a large scale because all money goes into the dividend fund and is distributed by merit. If participants try to create an overly large dividend on a small forum, that will quickly attract arbiters which defeats the purpose.

Performance bond money just sits there, teasing those lacking integrity. I have not been able to find a simple and valuable secondary use for private performance bonds (other than each castpoint offering stock that offers dividends and ownership in exchange for insurance liability). So it would be best to create multiple castpoints to ensure competition.

Regulatory burdens are the main challenge. If castpoints lives up to it’s potential, any and all currencies could compete on the platform. This will likely be perceived as a primal threat by gov’s and central banks. This should change the flow of capital from pools of debt (slavery) and credit (master), to pooling as capital (freedom). Likewise, unloading conflict resolution from ponderous gov fiat to fast local expert non-fait resolution is a new paradigm. failed because they apparently managed regulatory burdens poorly. did well in this area, yet mostly stopped peer to peer payments due to “low use of this service and increasing regulatory burdens.”

People own and own and control their info. They can associate specific info with a URL link (NetRep) to reveal a different data view to, say, accountants, the public, a specific interest group, other castpoint accounts, etc. The link in an email would be something like:

text, text, text, text.
Thanks, Jeff

Ultimately, castpoints makes money from a small fee on each transaction. Non exclusive copies can be leased. Open source the majority and charge for the newest features. (Similar to Open Office.)

Coding the front end is simple. Coding the backend is a significant challenge with an emphasis needed on security and non tampering ability. The real challenge is dealing with fiat and gov regulations. The project can be very small since customer service and overhead should be minimal.

A Provisional Patent was filed on June 4th 2012. “Castpoints”: A method that securitizes information directly, via self regulating: winnowing and promotion of value, conflict resolution, reputation, and private performance bonds.


  1. The initial castpoints will be denominated in silver milligrams, but really backed by major currencies.
  2. Addition of sophisticated statistical analysis and pre posting decision trees and keywords via open architecture.
  3. When enough momentum to support money changers is present, open platform to most currencies and scrips. (monetary freedom)
  4. By now an email plugin should be available. When people can conveniently rank their email by how much conviction senders put behind it, spam dies.
  5. To be more useful, capital will likely move closer to transaction points (away from central banks and debt). Yet due to the Singularity’s exponential advance, money just sitting around becomes glaringly inefficient. So each castpoint entity (could be a company or person) could offer dividend paying stock in return for liability. This would dramatically increase the velocity of capital. (trading decentralizes)
  6. Centralized control simply can’t keep up. The differentiation between a companies, customer service, intranet, product, and or service becomes blurred since they are all stewarded by a local castpoint framework. The definition of an employee will also blur: who’s managing the FAQ’s, suggesting valuable ideas, finding bugs? Could be anyone. Add the pressure of “politicians” being asked to use castpoints and constantly losing money. People could realize centralized politics (control) has a lot of friction (expensive, slow, corrupt). (ability to add value transcends hierarchies, labels, identities, and roles. (Not outsourcing: all sourcing))
  7. Possibly most importantly, what people put out returns very directly in a measurable and honest way, which provides helpful feedback about one’s behavior. Meaning: we learn to critique in supportive ways while increasing everyones’ psychological sanity. (auto-self-actualization)
  8. Sovereign Individuals become their own central stores of value. They are distributed, localized, and expert profit centers backed by performance bonds.

Please consider helping this project be real.

Update September 2012: The Collaborative Lab gets it!!! Check out their chart on The Big Shift, and Welcome To The New Reputation Economy by Rachel Botsman

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at