iou1 conversation – Anne

her “so if people give you a gift what do they get back, in return?” – “that’s not what a gift is” me – too glib for my own liking even at the time even though facetious even though playful I change tack – serious “everything I do will be a gift I want to make a gift of everything I do”. Anne gives out money for a living – she gets paid to give – the heritage lottery fund has funds they pay her to give out funds she gives them out it’s a living – maybe it’s different but there’s an overlap a definite connection I’d like to investigate. “What if we’re all taking out and nobody’s putting back in? What if everyone decides to do nothing? What if I’m gifting and other people are taking? Isn’t it our nature to be out for ourselves, to be individualistic?” And I talk about how I believe this is an ideology made up forty years ago – the ideas themselves are not new but the idea of building an entire economy an entire society on the bedrock of these assumptions – the assumptions contained in these questions we now take to be common sense – this is a recent phenomenon.

As an aside:

[How terrible it would be to not be useful. This we all feel. Yet we cannot shake the belief that other people would choose to be useless would choose not to work not to make themselves useful to others not to make things or apply themselves or seek to shape the world or be active within it or do. Do things. How unhappy they would be. How unhappy they must be. How unhappy they are (they are unhappy). How low our opinion of others. How low our opinion of ourselves. I had a beer with Tom last weekend – that’s another post – noted that money was no incentive for him or me that he would write software anyway that I would make theatre anyway. He says “but we’re different”. But we’re not different. I do not believe we’re different – this is the gamble I am prepared to take. There is an assumption an assumption abroad a shared assumption that money only money is the incentive but when I ask others when I ask people when I ask other people if that’s the case for them when I push them prod them prompt them they answer “no, the incentive the want the desire is located elsewhere”.]

Back with Anne we talk automation and debt (and is it real) and unemployed truck drivers and driverless cities and what are holidays “if money was taken out of the equation I would behave like I was on holiday” “yeah sure for a bit, but after a while you would get bored of that you’d want to work” “yes” “you like to work” “yes”

We’ve been talking a long time. Anne logical methodical implacable un-ostentatious. I hope she’s enjoying working through this she seems to be someone who enjoys working through things thinking things through unpicking things and this – this is useful. The gradual unpicking of an idea. The gentle tugging at threads. As things come apart they come together too.

“With this project it takes a long time to explain what the project actually is” she says. “Yes” I say “but that’s the project”.

Thanks Anne, I owe you one.


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