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Balance Between Self and Others
Most people would agree that a big part of life is finding ways to balance living for yourself and living for other people. Systems like business, markets, governments, religions, nonprofits, families, friendships, and various group organizations help us with this constantly renegotiated balance. Who's to say there are not other ways to do this we haven't tried that might work as well or better? That might augment those other systems, or even replace some of them? That's part of what the growth model is about.
Think about global warming in the proximity of the Growth Model. Perhaps the earth is trying to teach us new ways to relate to each other. It is giving us feedback on what we are doing, in the form of rising temperatures. Up until now, we've been free to do as we wished in many ways. Now the earth is putting some new information on its ProxMonitor. This might be an argument for allowing ourselves and each other more freedom, yet to give and pay attention to status updates (ProxMonitoring). We can each relate to those status updates in our own ways, through various types of Vadi Agreements and ProxRewards, at various RelatePoints in which we find ourselves. In other ways in addition to global warming, our bodies and the environment are forgiving, yet provide feedback which we can choose to act upon.
Incentives for rewarding and/or joining a Growth Model related project include the following: People involved may pay more attention to, and relate to, a greater variety of elements in your proximity, and have greater ProxAwareness. This provides multiple incentives to reward and relate. In contrast, compare it to highly market-oriented situations where the primary focus is financial.
Training Each Other
We've trained ourselves and each other many things which help us collaborate and coordinate. Things like manners, obeying laws, working with others, paying rather than stealing, honoring copyright by not copying, etc. There seems to be little reason to believe we cannot train ourselves to pay more attention to relating, monitoring, ProxRewarding and ProxPatterns.
This model is something that can be tested or tried in various proximities, and then adjusted and expanded based on results.
The Growth Model and optional rewards, in relating to ProxPatterns, also helps advance cooperation. Yet it is a rich and complex variety of cooperation. A simple definition of cooperation is working or acting together toward a common end or purpose. A ProxPatterns perspective acknowledges how people are sometimes at cross-purposes, and disagree or work toward opposing ends. A ProxPatterns perspective acknowledges these kinds of contradictions. Yet a ProxPatterns perspective increases the chances of having viable alternatives. We are reminded how common ends and purposes vary with the proximity, and we remember how the proximity itself is flexible. So some of the contradictions, cross-purposes and disagreements may get resolved, and others may become valued for their differences, which may become part of Vadi Agreements.
[[to come - how the Growth Model compares with and differs from open source practices]]
Different from "Pay What You Can"
Although a "Pay What You Can" approach fits within the Growth Model, the Growth Model and ProxRewards are different. With ProxRewards, someone assesses the proximity and relates to it. They consider to greater or lesser degrees elements and relationships in the proximity of the situation, as well as in related proximities, and then they relate or try to relate in ProxPatterns-related ways.
Whole vs. Partial
Think about how often some is enough, but an accepted process makes us pay for the whole thing. Books are a good example. Many times, you can get what you need from some partial aspect of a book. It might be some passages, the central concept, or a talk by the author. But the accepted process is about getting us to buy the book. Why can't we have searchable access to the whole book as well as core passages, concepts, and talks by the author, and then reward in a ProxPatterns way? It might change many situations. We might get some great small works which would otherwise be plumped up to be sellable but mediocre books. We might get content that works better interactively, but previously could only attract book publishers who wanted some certain profits rather than some uncertain opportunities. We might get more amateurish content, but it might speak more to others with similar amateurish proximities or ProxSets. Instead, we often get information from experts which may often be less helpful to amateurs. ProxRewards may help us solve some of the problems related to how we handle valuable parts which are less than the whole.
Lower Need for Defense
We don't have to be so protective of our position and resources, if there are paths for both parties to improve, evolve, collaborate, relate and grow, as well as enjoy and maintain themselves. Using ProxPatterns and the Growth Model ensures some of these.
Leverage Databases and Networks
Market economics allows many transactions between parties who know nothing or very little about each other. This has advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps some relationships require that we know more about each other. Perhaps such relationships get pushed to the side by the market, which perhaps eventually turns against us through unexpected side effects. Databases and network technology are a huge part of our lives. Perhaps we could harness them to help us know more about each others' and our own proximities. This could increase our ProxAwareness, and thereby helping us better relate (Core Idea) and use ProxPatterns in our relationships.
Probability and Risk
With optional rewards, the certainty of a reward in any given instance probably goes down, but the chances of catastrophic failure due to no rewards probably also goes down, since so much flexibility is allowed in the the amount and kind of rewards. This reduces risks and stress. So, the power of probability is leveraged, in much the way that insurance manages risk.
Pretty much anything that is valuable to others is going to get copied by others whether you like it or not. Why not set up a system for people to reward you, thank you, collaborate with you, and relate to you, if they want to? Think about the opportunities this creates in software, music, films, news, science, inventions, innovations, on top of many situations in daily life. Plus, with fixed prices, we almost never capture the full value to others of what we contribute, since there are so many secondary and follow-on effects. Secondary and follow-on effects happen when what you do allows others to do valuable things which they couldn't have done otherwise.
Already Exist Tacitly
Optional rewards already tacitly exist under many different guises, some of which are indirect. Some that come to mind: favors, a sense of fairness, reasonableness, charity, karma, goodwill, discounts, coupons, commissions, donations, contributions, grants, subsidies, cross-subsidies, good deeds, tipping, training, pollution credits, philanthopy, etc. There are also intrinsic rewards such as those related to teamwork, joy, creativity, and shared experiences. What others come to mind?
Alternate Organizational Forms
ProxRewards might help engender more alternate forms of organizations, which are organized more around preferences than power.
Lock-In and Portfolio Thinking
Investors and societies develop portfolios of skills, talents, resources, tools, etc. This enhances their flexibility and survival capacity. But often individuals, through markets that get entrenched, get locked into one way of surviving and have trouble changing even when their market becomes counter-productive to the society. If we took a ProxPatterns and ProxRewards perspective, the diversity of their activities which could generate rewards would increase, and thereby give individuals a portfolio of activities and rewards.
The aspects of situations described in Some People seem to be the result of different people relating with ProxPatterns in different ways at different times. As such, that discussion is another argument for optional and flexible rewards.
Rewards for Unusual Things
A ProxPatterns and Growth Model perspective could make optional and flexible rewards more common. In the process, we might realize we want to reward people for more unusual things. Things like just being who they are, or being a team player, or having the strength to be different yet still contribute.
Optional rewards may encourage more varied activities. Even activities which are valuable but perhaps not market-creating at fixed prices may be tried if ProxRewards are common. How interesting an activity is, for example, might carry greater weight.
Range of Situations
What range of situations can the Growth Model apply to? Some situations may be so simple we barely think about the proximity of the deal, or agreements or rewards. Buying a candy bar for example. Other situations are more complex and commonly include a wide range of rewards, only one of which may be money. Examples of more complex situations are agreements which involve financial and non-financial benefits, trades, favors, reputation, legal angles, politics, psychological aspects, and so on. So the Growth Model already tacitly applies in many situations, in the sense that we often tacitly consider an offer, the other party's rewards, the proximity, and ways to reward in return. We just don't think of these situations in Growth Model terms. Reframing the situation in the context of the Growth Model may provide insights, as well as possibly change some situations, across a range of situations from simple to medium to complex.
Some of the more interesting situations which might benefit from ProxRewards, are those with higher degrees of change, variability, ambiguity, interpretation, and interactivity. Some examples of these are international politics, environmental issues, intellectual property law, rebuilding communities, religious conflicts, regional tensions, class distinctions, sustainable energy, etc. The previous examples mostly have large scope, but many medium scope and even daily situations can have high degrees of change, variability, ambiguity, interpretation, and interactivity.
[[to come - How trust is critical to how capitalism works, and also to rewards and the growth model.]]
[[to come - In digital and other ways, are we in a trend towards more and more things becoming ephemeral? If so, perhaps the growth model supports this.]]
[[to come - The many situations when we buy something, not caring how wealthy the seller or producer already is. How does the growth model relate? We probably should and will sometimes reward regardless of the ProxMon. But other times, we'll at least have the option of knowing more about the other party's position (through a ProxMon), and the option of changing our ProxReward in response.]]
[[to come - Relate the perils of creeping monocultures and the benefits and fact of biodiversity, to the perils of markets taking over too many spheres and the benefits and fact of a diversity of kinds of rewards, which ProxRewards may make more evident and easier to discuss and use.]]
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