Banks and rep

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root root's picture
Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


There is some mention in the core book about rep markets and banks, but this isn't something that is covered in great detail. Do any of our Extropians want to fill us in on how rep and money can be exchanged? Are we talking about a foreign exchange market? Or does rep treat money like any other good that must be purchased and vice versa? A setting I've been working on involves an illegal qbit stock market floating through space on a scum barge, but I'm not really sure what, exactly, would still be traded on a stock market. I'm not even sure if stock markets would even exist, or if they will have been replaced by some other type of trading market.

Ooh, nasty thought. Ego exchange markets, not unlike a good old-fashioned roman slave market.

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Banks and rep

The way I have always run the Rep/Credit exchange has been in the form of favors. Say I am an AGI adventurer who has spent all his days going through the Anarchist Pandora Gate and as such I have an extremely good reputation with the @-listers. I am well known to keep promises and pay back favors in kind. On a trip into the inner system I find myself in need of a fairly large amount of credits (The equivalent of a High purchase). Normally that would be a Level 4 favor, which I gladly use up. However, unlike what would normally happen with favors (I get my stuff and we are square), I now owe the bank a little something something. Some day they might come calling and ask me to pull a job for them, or to send them a copy of a recording I took during one of my Gatecrashing ventures.

Basically, the bank keeps a large, well maintained and indexed database of potential favors different people throughout the System owe them. If the person who owes them a favor refuses to be of assistance, well they just so happen to have a fair few other people who owe them who would be willing to go break a few kneecaps in exchange for being considered square.

Ego exchanges could be interesting, especially among the Inner System. Infugees are always clambering to get themselves tied up in an indentured contract. Perhaps people have been putting in clauses that lets them sell the contract off to other corporations. Think how much fun our recent economic crash, with the constant off loading of bad contracts and debt, would have been if instead of money debts being handed over left right and center it was instead the contracts of a couple of hundred indentured miners.

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root root's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


So the exchange itself is a favor? That does makes sense with our current foreign exchange markets. When trading currency currently, banks trade "pips", which are something like .0001 cents on a dollar (I'm not sure which currency the pips are based on), and a standard lot increment is something like 100,000 (for dollars). But I'm working off of Wikipedia here, so my knowledge is limited. Would the bank then be collecting Trivial favors, or does it charge higher favor rates for individuals?

Another question: how does a new rep get established? Is there some interplanetary consortium on rep markets that decides which reps are work monetizing? Or do reps start out as only valuable for rep exchange, and then get big enough for the banks to notice? I've been playing with a set of extra rep networks over at the Darkcast site (mostly splitting out sub-rep networks), but I haven't figured out how a new rep would take hold.

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Banks and rep

I think you might be considering Rep as slightly more of a tangible currency than I do. When someone in my game has a particularly high rep with a faction, they do not necessarily know exactly how high it is, or even that they hold that rep. More, it is how well known they are within that network, and how much pull they might be able to influence here or there.

An example today would be, essentially, any celebrity. Someone with an extremely high reputation with the Argonauts might be as well known as, say, Carl Sagan. Most people who have any interest in science, especially physics, are aware of who he is, and many consider him a well respected person. If that particular person wanted to exchange his rep for money with an Inner System bank they bank itself might put out feelers within the Argonaut community, and they would respond in turn that he was respectable and worthy of attention.

A good example of this might be the Reddit community. For people unaware, Reddit is a news aggregation website much like Digg (But Better! :D) and it has developed a fairly good representation of a primitive reputation based economy. A few months ago a well known user known as P-Dub posted that his family was having money worries, and in response Reddit users donated to the cause to help pay for bills and his mothers houses mortgage (or something, I forget the exact details). P-Dub would be a good example of someone with a decent rep using a favor. In fact he is also a good example of burning rep, as for a few months after the post he was lambasted as attempting to scam Reddit for money. Now, if I had tried to get Reddit to help me out, as a fairly low rep member of the community, I would have been laughed down and gotten nothing.

(If you are curious, it is for this reason that I do not involve myself with the Rep thingy people do on these forums. I do not see the need for them. If you do enough to begin to become noticed people will learn your name. Attaching a number to that attention is, in my mind, unnecessary)

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root root's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


What you say makes sense, and is true, but I disagree with the conclusion that there is not point to attaching a number to reputation. I've seen the rep exchange for money a few times on d-kos, and the same sorts of rep-burning that can happen for the same. I've seen it traded upon for help finding jobs, I use it to pull in research information I wouldn't be able to find alone, and I've seen writers use it to gather ideas for publications. It works best for the few people that are best known, but doesn't work very well for anyone who hasn't been posting recently. And that last bit is the part that explicit numbers help with.

Reputation on a forum disappears almost instantly when you step off of the conversation turnover time of a forum, but conversely, there isn't much point in dumping piles of time into a community when throwing out a piece of conversation chum at least twice a cycle does the job just as well or better. Numbers allow users of a community the option of working on larger projects that appear less frequently. For instance, TRBMInsanity is by far the "richest" member of the community, but you wouldn't know that all of our userbars come from him(?) if you were new to the site. Since he can display a string of numbers for different reps, new users can instantly recognize that he has some worth to the community, and after comparing with a few other posters, they can pick up on the relative worth of his reps.

Now scale it up to communities of hundreds of thousands, or millions. You get the long tail effect, where most of the recognition is stacked in the first two standard deviations, and everything after that is practically unknown. With numbers, this is still true, but the size of the standard deviations can be made much larger, as you don't have to rely solely upon the attention span of the community.

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Banks and rep

Besides, it allows a quick perception of what kind of things someone does in the community. Thus someone with f-rep may be known for drawings or such, while someone with c-rep could be known for making new rules, or things like that.

In any case, and returning to the original point, I handle it as favors as well in my game, but the favor to ask would depend on where you are. In Extropia, probably a favor would render as much money as it is supposed to (thus, a Moderate would give you around 1000 credits); meanwhile, in much more capitalist Mars, it would probably render half, as it has to be a good business for the bank, and money is much more valuable as the alternative economic system is less developed.

As for what to do in case you don't pay, probably banks wouldn't necessarily resort to modern day actions (thus, sending people after you, or taking your goods), they could also resort to forcing you to ask for additional favors to repay your debt (thus, forcing you to burn it), or even spreading memes against you that damage your rep.

The mind is information... hack it!
+4
http://tribulaciones.es/

Madwand Madwand's picture
Re: Banks and rep

No need for anything complicated like "spreading memes". It's called just leaving an unfavorable review of the customer. This damages your rep (if the bank is reputable and the favor they asked of you was reasonable). It's a bit like a modern-day credit rating.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root wrote:
root@Banks and rep

So the exchange itself is a favor? That does makes sense with our current foreign exchange markets. When trading currency currently, banks trade "pips", which are something like .0001 cents on a dollar (I'm not sure which currency the pips are based on), and a standard lot increment is something like 100,000 (for dollars). But I'm working off of Wikipedia here, so my knowledge is limited. Would the bank then be collecting Trivial favors, or does it charge higher favor rates for individuals?

There are pips for all currencies. Essentially, a pip is 1/100th of the smallest denomination of whatever currency the trade platform works in. Japanese banks trade in .01 yen, US stock markets work with .01 cents, and so forth. Recent electronic trading platforms actually work in smaller pips of 1/1000th of the smallest denomination.

root wrote:
Another question: how does a new rep get established? Is there some interplanetary consortium on rep markets that decides which reps are work monetizing? Or do reps start out as only valuable for rep exchange, and then get big enough for the banks to notice? I've been playing with a set of extra rep networks over at the Darkcast site (mostly splitting out sub-rep networks), but I haven't figured out how a new rep would take hold.

Essentially, rep is self-creating in that a reputation record will form whenever an entity begins to participate within a reputation network. In essence, a rep is basically a resume that is peer-written to keep track of the things you do, good or bad. You can see the start of rep networks all over the internet... the backlash of Cooper Lawrence's statements against the game Mass Effect can be seen as a sort of rep backlash due to a poor choice. As soon as you appear on people's radar, you reputation begins to form... to turn a classic phrase, it can very much precede you.

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root root's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


I get how a new individuals reputation begins to form, but how does a new rep network form? Suppose we have x-rep, which is the Singluarist network. They are a small group (because everyone else wants to kill them), but they are all zealots. A good standing in the x-rep network can get you access to horrible doomsday devices you wouldn't be able to easily get from i-rep, but having any x-rep can be a black mark on any other reps you might have. Banks wouldn't accept x-rep (or g-rep, or i-rep for that matter), so how does it get established?

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Banks and rep

Overall I think Codebreaker has it right. The way I run it is the bank converts your Rep into something tangible, and gives you market value for that. So for example, suppose you have major rep with argonauts, especially a group modifying wheat genes. The bank would find a demand based off of your network, say a group of gatecrashers trying to establish a new colony on an exoplanet. They would generate a request, approved by you, to send to the argonauts and request wheat DNA modified to their requirements, that they can immediately invest in the gatecrasher's team. The bank then counts the value of the wheat, subtracts their fees, and credits you with the remainder. Most of this process would be handled automatically, as supply, demand and personal dossiers are tracked by computers and reviewed by AGIs or AIs for the best available deal. Banks are in competition with each other to provide the most efficient conversion. If one bank can only get you 100 credits for a moderate favor, by flipping your contacts with the argonauts to produce a superior guppy for pet shops, and another can get you 500 credits by flipping wheat DNA, it's pretty clear which deal will be favored and who will get more contracts in the end.

root root's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


That makes perfect sense for any of the established rep networks, but it still implies that there is no way for a new rep network to develop. I consider one of the primary benefits of rep networks to be their flexibility, but that gets shot to pieces if it doesn't have a good transferability.

I've been putting together sub-rep factions over on the darkcast website, because the rep networks seem too monolithic to me. I think the writers may have felt similarly, as they have several groups lumped in with each rep network. I call @@-rep the Anarchists slice of @-rep, which for almost all intents and purposes counts as @-rep, unless the Anarchists are having a snit in some specific local and the Barsoomians don't feel like respecting it. Or say the Extropians are being all bitchy and won't exchange @b-rep for the Barsoomians into æ-rep (Extropian sub-rep) without a higher exchange rate because they feel like making a profit. Most of the time things like this won't matter at all, as all sub-reps should be respected by the overall rep network, but it can make for interesting exploitation in certain circumstances (particularly with g-rep). Also, what happens if a sub-rep network feels like their interests aren't being cared for by their current network, and want to shift? Say the Titanians want to be part of the c-rep network because they feel like they should be treated like a government, what then?

Oh, yea, that other thing: does g-rep really get respected by banks?

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Banks and rep

New Rep Networks are structures that develop themselves slowly, and they almost certainly have to have fairly strong links to other Networks to gain credence, at least to start with. So, for example if I was a person with a high reputation with the Anarchists in particular (Lots of “@@”rep) and I went to a bank wanting a quick injection of cash they might begin asking around known clients who are themselves well known within the @@ circles. If they couldn't find any such clients they might ask an extremely well known @-lister if they know anything about the @@ network, and if they can get them in touch with a trustworthy point of contact. Its all about having people who are well respected in the right circles also being in your own.

So, at least with the banks, it is just a new way to figure out someones credit rating. Instead of how well you personally have been doing in paying back all your debts in a timely manner, it is how well you, your contacts, and the person who vouches for you has been doing in paying back all their favors. Any new Network would need to build up a new line of credit or have someone in the know vouch for them.

And on banks honoring g-rep – Why would they? At least the banks that are on the up-and-up (or at least those who are careful with their money) are not going to want to deal with the criminal scum. Those are the kinds of people who steal from the vaults, not borrow from them. If you want to use your g-rep to get a quick injection of liquid funds you would go to a loan shark, and those tend to come with a whole mess of troubles.

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Banks and rep

Probably using g-rep in order to obtain credits would be the same as asking some shady characters to loan you some dollars in the alleys of Las Vegas. Or something like that. As for new networks, seems like I'm late. :)

The mind is information... hack it!
+4
http://tribulaciones.es/

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Banks and rep

There's nothing wrong with new rep networks forming. All they require for common acceptance is a sufficient, dependable population, and effective advertising/PR. In EP, a new social network can probably become large and competitive within a matter of months or perhaps a year ago - assuming it can find a niche to exploit.

Banks are encouraged to discover and leverage these networks as soon as possible, since it gives a bank a competitive advantage. In general, these sorts of dealings mean that I, as a bank, want to know as many people you, my customer, are connected to and how much you are worth to each of them. The more I know, the better a deal I can negotiate, beating out the competition.

root root's picture
Re: Banks and rep

root@Banks and rep


The rep networks that aren't publicly available have some very interesting effects. i-rep, g-rep, and the x-rep I made up (eXhumans, includes Singluarists, seed AI researchers, basically all of your Big Bads) aren't publicly acknowledged, but effect the the market anyway. Given the sophistication of the market monitoring/prediction groups, I have difficulty believing that banks don't have at least some idea of where those reps are having an effect, and to what extent. On the other hand, if the markets are truly chaotic beasts, it is quite likely that different hidden rep networks change to the market as a whole, but the effects of any individual rep network can't be discerned from background noise with any certainty. Add to that qbit communication market manipulation (if a trader at the Venusian market knows what the price of antimatter on Titan is, they can make trades with FTL communication and outrace the signal, gaining market advantage), and I imagine there are people/groups who put enormous effort into keeping the background noise loud enough to drown out their own manipulations.

Hmm, Oligarchs plan an antimatter plant sabotage on Mercury after cornering the market just prior to the launch of a new Jovian battlecruiser, forcing the Jovians to trade with their hypercorps to keep from losing face by delaying the launch. Of course, the problem with having large stockpiles of antimatter...

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]