Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Tuesday, March 18, 2003day link 

 Caveat Venditor
picture Mitch Ratcliffe says good stuff about how Xpertweb turns upside down the traditional relationship between buyers and sellers.
"The buyer has needed to be wary since the Romans coined the phrase "caveat emptor" to excuse the seller of poorly made goods or poorly preserved foods. If you were too damned stupid to recognize that your fish sauce was spoiled, tough luck. What Xpertweb does, by flipping the process of a transaction around and making payment dependent on the delivery of quality and quantity promises (whether of stuff or services), is give us the potential for an economic system that both improves the seller's responsiveness to the customer and eliminates the free-rider problem that could afflict a system of payment after delivery.

Let's look at the concept of "Caveat Venditor" ("Let the vendor beware") and consider how it's time has come. For a long time, customer-centric business has been preached and promoted by business gurus, but it remains an ideal that, at best, is a promise easily erased by the liability and indemnification clauses of contracts, sales agreements and user agreements. Every time we relegate one party in a transaction to the role of "customer," they are left to wait for the proverbial shafting, even if it never actually comes. The Cluetrain Manifesto put this in plain words: "Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures" end and "If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market."

Caveat Venditor is the embodiment of the business guru babble. Walk the walk, don't promise something and expect the transaction to go silently into history. Xpertweb documents both sides of the transaction, creating a history and, by extension, an environment of trust. The first step toward this system has been in the pursuit of a new integrity in business and politics. Investors and citizens are convinced we need greater accountability in corporate disclosure and campaign finance reform, even if "leaders" mostly disagree, because it is their unbridled power at risk."

[ | 2003-03-18 23:59 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Leaderless Resistance
picture I was reading this quote from an article called Leaderless Resistance Today:
"The new communications technologies make it possible for a movement to exist solely as an ideology, with no membership lists, no financial records, no direct communication between the operatives — and no "off" switch. There is no way to negotiate with such an ideology, no way to compromise.

...Because there is no formal "group" with assets, interpersonal relationships, or other stabilizing factors, individuals who moderate simply leave the milieu; their writings and actions remain behind, recruiting new members."
..and I was thinking "Yeah, that's fabulous, that's the kind of stuff we need!!", when I actually looked at the article and realized it was about terrorist groups and dangerous elements in society, and how movements might continue, simply based on an ideology, a book, a website, an event, even without any organizing network, without an organization, without any leaders. And the article talks about how that is a very bad thing, and how we might stop that. But I'm looking for how we might start that. Oh, not focused on hate and violence as the article is talking about. Focused on truth, freedom, beauty, love, the common good. Imagine that there were nothing any frantic monopoly could do to stop people from spontaneously making things work better and being more fun, and from exposing the truth at every turn. No organizational leadership to buy off, no accounts to bankrupt, nobody to put in jail, no communication channels to cut. Just millions of people who freely and voluntarily operated as cells of a bigger body, without even having to talk about it. Heheh.
[ | 2003-03-18 23:59 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The breeze at dawn
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

[ | 2003-03-18 23:59 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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