coincidence of wants

coincidence of wants

intro’d to the term via AJ Leon here

where he writes:

If you can’t afford something you need (in my case, bagels) or they can’t afford something you offer (design, copy writing, code, blacksmithing), and you feel the tension of a coincidence of wants in your midst, then just obviate the variable that doesn’t fit (i.e., Money) and make a deal.

But this essay, of course, is only partially about the barter economy.

The true point, is this.

Look around you. Most people in this world think in a very linear fashion. They believe that not only must they get from point A to point B, but that they can only do so by drawing the straightest line possible.

But any true adventurer or seasoned entrepreneur or conditioned artist knows that any fool can draw a straight line.

The genius lies in being able to see the dots first, then connect them (no matter how jagged) between where you are now and where you want to be then.

the genius.. yes. and tech can help with this.

ai humanity needs: augmenting interconnectedness

AJ linked to this definition:

Definition: The phrase double coincidence of wants was used in Jevons (1893). “[T]he first difficulty in barter is to find two persons whose disposable possessions mutually suit each other’s wants. There may be many people wanting, and many possessing those things wanted; but to allow of an act of barter there must be a double coincidence, which will rarely happen.” That is, paraphrasing Ostroy and Starr, 1990, p 26, the double coincidence is the situation where the supplier of good A wants good B and the supplier of good B wants good A.

The point is that the institution of money gives us a more flexible approach to trade than barter, which has the double coincidence of wants problem. Also known as dual coincidence of wants.

and here’s more:

wikipedia small

The problem is caused by the improbability of the wants, needs or events that cause or motivate a transaction occurring at the same time and the same place.



what if we have tech help us work this little problem out..

facilitate the impossibilities.. the highly improbable/chaotic..

until we no longer barter (at least less with money).. until we see each other enough to need/want less and/or to realize where those adjacent possible crazy connections are.

like getting back our original (day care centers).. unconditional trust.


one ness.. discrimination as equity.. have/need ness..

have need for one world


money ness

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

ie: ubi as temp placebo..



socially beneficial use of the data stream our online meanderings leave behind,

as opposed to current use to advertise to us?I could get behind that.

Original Tweet:

@klaitner: There are two issues: coordinating needs and wants (scaling the wants across orgs solves the volume of opps but creates further coordination issues) – other issue is choice of token (abstract and non local like $, local like scrip, metacurrencies tracking dimensions of value…)

token ness (aka: measurement) changes us .. (ie: we become like whales in sea world) once we’re like those whales.. needs/wants/resources never balance out.. we have no idea what we want/need

@klaitner: Is there a way to represent needs and wants that permits clearing that doesn’t put us in a cage? Or at least where what,is lost is outweighed by what is gained. Is it always back to face to face, local community?

what do you mean by ‘that permits clearing’

@klaitner: Needs and wants matching

could it be needs/wants and resources matching?

@klaitner: Yes

then yeah.. i think there is .. daily curiosity .. (deeper than face to face)

@klaitner: Curiosity is the driver, what are the tools?

a mech to 1\ listen to every voice first thing everyday 2\ use that data to connect us that day

@klaitner: All the voices, including the inner one, presupposes a context, a tribe, a community of which we can define ‘each’. In a classroom this is obvious. For me that would be myself and the puppy. Thankfully her needs are simple. This moves the problem to finding the tribe.

that’s part 2\ of the mech – using the data to connect you i’m meaning ‘each’ as all 8b ish of us [and that ‘obvious’ tribe of a classroom.. often more like sea world non-legit tribe]

@klaitner: So listen to the voices (human voices not abstracted in any way), using some tech intermediary (vidcon? AI?) then find tribe using this data (your own reading or a representation? Matching algo?) Not possible to read 7B without AI and NSA grade listening network?

what do you mean by this ‘Not possible to read 7B without AI and NSA grade listening network?’

@klaitner: Meaning how possible to know 7B minds each day?

tech is just listening to daily curiosity.. using key words from that to connect you to people with similar daily curiosity

@klaitner: So socially beneficial use of the data stream our online meanderings leave behind, as opposed to current use to advertise to us? I could get behind that.


what we need most.. if for 8b people to grok enough ness..

which begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

ie: 2 convers as infra