Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hello NYT, welcome to lovely AI

I can't help but feel I must have some MSM employees as readers, since the piece in the New York Times about Digital Point (for the unregistered, here's a CNet mirror) today follows the same reasoning as my blog post on revenue-sharing which namechecked Digital Point two weeks ago, and the headline about Google's "shadow payroll" echoes what I said about outsourcing payroll on Saturday. If only I could comb the Blogger logs to look for evidence of lurking lizards.

If the NYT or other MSM journalists (particularly Australian ones) want a new meme to glom onto, I would suggest looking at how the long-festering problem of micropayments might finally be solved by using ad impressions as currency. Any other form of micropayments, particularly proprietary ones such as the new Gather Points™, is doomed to failure IMO. Currencies can not be trademarkable. Currencies have to be transferable.

If we have AIs as a legitimate currency, that suggests many auxiliary businesses. Banks, for one. Instead of relying on each site to store and serve your AIs, how about a non-profit central bank which sets exchange rates to enable transferability, and then a number of commercial banks which store your AIs and allow you to exhaust them at the site/s of your choice? I look forward to the day when people can transfer their store of earned AIs from one site to another to take advantage of exchange rates - after all, AIs at a poker blog will be worth more than AIs at a Web forum since there are demonstrably different rates of CTR and eCPM.

Word to the wise to Steve Gillmor, Alex Barnett and the Root.net boyos: forget attention, if you want an abstracted secondary market on the Web then build it around AIs as the new Internet currency. Everyone would benefit from that, and none of those pesky privacy concerns. Also, we have a ready-made symbol for this new currency, which is taken from the 3000-year-old Asian language of kanji. In kanji, the word "ai" means love:

On Tinfinger we'll be using a smaller version of the kanji character: AI

When I was a kid and Mum was at me to do housework, she used to call it a "love job". What could be more appealing than accumulating love?

The Chinese philosopher Mo Zi developed ai (愛) in reaction to Confucian lian (戀). Ai is universal love towards all beings, not just towards friends or family, without regard to reciprocation. Extravagance and offensive war are inimical to ai. Although Mo Zi was influential, the Confucian lian is how most modern Chinese conceive of love.

In Japanese Buddhism, ai (愛)is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment.

Personal note: Tinfinger is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother Vera Montgomery, who passed away in her sleep last night at the age of 91 after a short illness. Her love was the fiercest and strongest of any person I ever knew. She is survived by three sons and six grandchildren. She is now with her husband Gordon and Joan, her only daughter, who died at the age of 2. I will feel her loving influence on me, and thus on what I do on Tinfinger and elsewhere, for the rest of my life.


Anonymous Alex Barnett said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss Paul. My condolences.

10:52 am, January 17, 2006  

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