FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about the units of discourse

The Book

What is the book about?
  • Economic Space Agency (ECSA) is developing a postcapitalist economic grammar – a set of economic-organizational protocols – which will reshape the economic game. By approaching the economy as an information and value transfer network (economic media), the ECSA grammar is reshaping economic interactions to emphasise collaboration, shared risk-taking, and collective wealth redefinition and distribution.
  • Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression - Agency, Finance and Sociality in the New Economic Space, by Dick Bryan, Jorge Lopez & Akseli Virtanen, is the original ECSA economic white paper published as a book by Minor Compositions / Autonomedia (Colchester / New York / Port Watson, 2023)
  • Protocols? The book engages with the codes that structure our communication, coordination and economy. They define our organizational capacities and boundaries of action: what is economically possible.
  • Postcapitalist? The book outlines a new value calculus, encoded as a set of distributed accounting practices, to redefine what counts as value, liquidity, equity, surplus – and who gets to decide these.
  • Expression? The book develops an open economic medium to exercise and express economic agency, to form distributed economic alliances, and to dialogue about what holds value, while creating it.
  • For the other key words and concepts of the ECSA discourse see the Glossary
What are the key capabilities of the proposed distributed economic protocol?
  • UNIVERSAL ISSUANCE RIGHTS
    Every agent possesses the authority to issue assets, including money and equity, that are guided by distinct logics. Without central issuers, ledgers, or privileged financial agencies, accountability rests with the distributed network itself.
  • ECONOMIC-ORGANIZATIONAL EXPRESSION
    The power to issue assets becomes a catalyst for economic communication, coordination, and the organization of postcapitalist value forms and alternative modes of value calculation. We move from social media to economic media.
  • MUTUALLY-REGULATED ISSUANCE
    Issuance is not subject to centralized regulation. Agents within the network reciprocally regulate issuance to one another, leveraging their collective informational and computational capacities as forms of mutual aid.
  • A DIFFERENT ECONOMIC NETWORKING PARADIGM
    Reciprocal stakeholding serves as our primary networking primitive. Agents establish peer to peer economic links through reciprocal stakeholding, enabling distributed credit, and networked performance relationships.
  • RISKING TOGETHER
    Every participant shares both the downside and upside of their economic performances. Everyone is directly or transitively invested in each other, so the network as a whole is invested in every agent.
  • BEYOND PROFIT AS THE SOLE RECOGNIZED SURPLUS Postcapitalist protocols allow for the recognition and accounting of forms of surplus other than profit. Agents co-create the terms by which they value their co-creations. Surplus in bespoke terms creates both network liquidity and liquidity in the “real world.”
  • ANYTHING CAN BE ENCODED AS AN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
    Performance supersedes production, allowing an economic framing to any activity. So-called “externalities”, such as clean air, biosphere health, knowledge creation, and education, maybe recognized, organized and valued within new economic networks.
Who are the authors?
The book is a product of research undertaken by the Economic Space Agency. The authors are members of ECSA.
Dick Bryan, PhD, is the Chief Economist at ECSA and an Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.
Jorge Lopez, is a distributed systems architect and the Lead Architect at ECSA
Akseli Virtanen, D.Sc.(Econ.), is the Co-founder of ECSA, and a Docent (Associate Professor) at Aalto University.

Economic Space Agency

What is Economic Space Agency?
We are a group of political economists, software architects, game designers, distributed systems engineers, monetary theorists and intangible asset creators deeply passionate about the economy.
We are researching and developing economic media, a new medium for economic-organizational expression: a set of peer-to-peer economic networking protocols that give everyone the ability to natively speak the information economy: value intangibles, biosphere, care, social innovation and structure relationships around them.
We are organized through ECSA Inc. in San Fran, California, ECSA Foundation in Zug, Switzerland, ECSA Labs Ltd. in Helsinki, Finland and the ECSA DAO in the cyberspace. We use reciprocal stakeholding as our network generating primitive.
Economic Space Agency was founded in 2016 in Palo Alto, California. From the ECSA Glossary:
  • Economic Space Agency (ECSA) An economic heresy. A market maker and a sense maker, a navigator, for a post-capitalist future. A volatility space innovation: a collective risk generating and arbitraging practice, leveraging on our ability to act together on an opening and collectively enjoying the upside.
  • economic space agency The capability to operate and navigate in the new economic space-time. The ability to use the postcapitalist economic grammar to express new economic-organizational compositions. The capability the economic space protocol creates to its users. We all need it. And we want everybody to have it. ECSA project is about open sourcing economic space agency.
What is postcapitalism?
Postcapitalism is the economic space (economic network) that comes after capitalism. In postcapitalism, all agents can issue assets to be used as collateral if recognized as valuable by the network. Implicit here is the idea that a postcapitalism framed through finance can be depicted as an economy of continuous creation of new value-forms. Our first wager is that postcapitalist value-creation will emerge from finance as the frontier of capitalist economic change. Explaining this connection forms the substance of the Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression book. We start in Chapter 1 by describing the difference between capitalism and postcapitalism as a financial ‘spread’ which is defined by the different answers these questions get in the capitalist and the postcapitalist economic networks:
  • What counts as liquidity?
  • What counts as collateral?
  • What counts as ‘surplus’ and
  • Who decides each of these?
ECSA is working on a grammar for postcapitalist economic-organizational expression, i.e. that allows us to formulate the new answers to these questions. The place where this postcapitalist economic network language is spoken and understood is the postcapitalist economic space. It is a place of value creation where qualified values can both be expressed, composed and rendered interoperable. It multiplies denominations, which remain interoperable, because they share the same grammar. In other words, the postcapitalist grammar is a more expressive medium to describe our economic networks, their participants, the nature of their relations and how they change, what they value, how it is counted and exchanged. Furthermore, it is a media that can make the value of any intangible, relational, informational (expression, care, the biosphere, community) offerable, exchangeable, investable, liquidity creating, leverageable – economically expressible and relatable – without collapsing all its information into “price” and “profitability”. Our second wager is that a clear spread will open between what the capitalist and the postcapitalist economic space (economic network) make possible – there is a clear difference in their expressive capacity, accessibility, stability, adaptability, scalability, privacy, functional equality and programmability. The ECSA token is a performance derivative designed to capture a share of the spread: it is a mechanism that rewards early participation and through which contributors can participate in the creation of the postcapitalist economic space. In other words, it offers tokenized exposure to the economic performance of the postcapitalist economic network, not ownership of the network infrastructure which is open and free to use. For more, see: Capitalism; Postcapitalism; Postcapitalist economic media; Big Put; ECSA token; Living in the spread

Units of Discourse

What is the Postcapitalist Discourse Collection about?
We would like to catalyze a historically nascent network engaging in postcapitalist discourse generation, and with that the rethinking and remaking of our relationships with knowledge, expressivity, and value. To initiate this, we have released the Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression (Colchester / New York / Port Watson: Minor Compositions, 2023) as an open access publication – but in a way that also rethinks the economic space of open access publication and forms a postcapitalist business model around it. In it, the participants become co-conspirators and co-publishers of the book, fragmented into "units" which become publicly readable as they get co-published, and which in themselves, also possess real discourse generating capacities i.e. capacities to actually create and curate the emerging network. The aim is to transform the book-object into a living discourse (i.e. a network) of postcapitalist expression and open the network generation as a question of social choreography and a political-economic performance where oneself becomes an agent of it.
What is a Unit of Discourse?
  • A Unit of Discourse is a fragment of human and machine readable text fully on chain. Together with related on chain text fragments the Units compose the ECSA economic whitepaper Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression. Technically, a Unit of Discourse is an ERC-721 NFT. You can view the whole collection e.g. on OpenSea.
  • By acquiring a Unit of Discourse you become a co-publisher of the ECSA economic paper Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression and a participant in the development of postcapitalist discourse. You participate in the process of transforming the book-commodity into an open access publication and a living discourse - i.e. a living network - of postcapitalist expression. The aim is to catalyze a historically nascent community, engaging in discourse creation, and with that the rethinking and remaking of our relationships with knowledge, expressivity and value.
How much does it cost to acquire a Unit of Discourse?
  • Each Unit of Discourse is available from the book website site at two different price tiers. We ask participants to choose the price tier that makes sense for their financial circumstances. Our hope is to make these units accessible to those in precarious situations or living in the global south.
  • We trust that if you have benefited from systemic inequalities or the structures of capitalism and/or if you reside and work in a country within the Imperial Core and possess the means, you'll consider adjusting the slider upwards.
    • “More periphery” is meant for people with lower access to wealth in the global context (as a general rule of thumb: most people in the Global South and people who’ve been systematically disadvantaged or are poor/precarious class in the Global North)
    • “More imperial core” is meant for people with medium to high access to wealth in the global context (as a general rule of thumb: middle class and upper/owning class people in the Global North, anyone with investments or retirement savings, anyone who expects an inheritance)
  • For our take on Decolonized Finance see here.
  • Within each price tier, there is a Virtual Book Only Bundle and a Special Edition Print Book Bundle of benefits available. These bundles contain the same benefits, regardless of whether one chooses the higher or lower price tier.
Virtual book bundle
Print book bundle
Recognition as co-publisher
x
x
Invite 5 agents (co-publishing is invite only at this stage)
x
x
PDF with custom cover
x
x
Whitelist for ECSA token multistake
x
x
Receive a physical copy of the Special Edition
x
A Special Edition print copy delivered to your door
How many Units of Discourse are there?
The Protocols for Postcapitalist Expression collection consists of 601 Units of Discourse. Other collections of Units of Discourse might be released in the future.
How do I acquire a Unit of Discourse?
First you need to receive an invite code. Then you need follow these steps:
  • Step 1 - Navigate to the invite code address in your browser.
  • Step 2 - Turn on Economic Media mode by clicking
    at the bottom of the window.
  • Step 3 - Find an available unit you want to publish, and click the ‘publish unit’ button below it.
  • Step 4 - Choose your price tier and click the ‘co-publish’ button.
  • Step 5 - Connect your wallet on the Polygon / Matic network. (If you're having trouble connecting to the Polygon network, follow these instructions).
  • Step 6 - Pay. Make sure you have enough MATIC in your wallet.
  • Step 7 - Copy invitations and send them to your friends!

Invites

Someone sent me an invite code! What do I do?
Lucky you! You have now the opportunity to participate in co-publishing the remaining units and become core members of the discourse’s development. See here the set of capabilities and rights you get as a unit holder.
I acquired a Unit of Discourse. Now what do I do with the invite code?
  • Your Unit makes you a curator of this project. It offers you an code-link which can be used to invite friends to join the project.
  • The first five people to use your invite-code will have the opportunity to participate in co-publishing the remaining units and become core members of the discourse’s development.
  • i.e., the invite-code can be used by max 5 different people to acquire one Unit each.
  • The aim is to turn the book-object into a network: a living, spoken discourse on postcapitalist expression.
  • We hope you will choose friends who you believe will be interested in the postcapitalist discourse and whose participation will increase its value. When they acquire their units, they will get all the same capabilities and rights of participation.
How do I get an invite code if I don’t have one?
  • Maybe you know someone who already holds a unit? Maybe one of your friends already has one? Each unit holder has 5 invitations. You can also find unit holders from the ECSA Telegram and Discord , through the collection page at OpenSea, and from the list of Co-publishers (at the end of the book in the book website). Just send a message.
  • You can also contact any member of Economic Space Agency team, they might be able to help.
  • And you can email to [email protected] and ask for one. Please be nice!

Crypto

I’ve never used crypto before. How do I get started?
  • STEP 1: You need a "Wallet". We recommend you begin by installing a wallet like Metamask: How to create a Metamask Wallet?
  • Your "Wallet" is the user interface (a browser tool) through which you can interact with a blockchain and with different applications on it; just like a bank account is your user interface through which you interact with the legacy bank network rails and its applications: you can for example send and receive transactions with it, it can hold a balance, and you interact with other tokens through it.
  • STEP 2: Add Polygon Network to your wallet (so that it can interact specifically with the Polygon blockchain): How to add Polygon Network to my wallet?
  • STEP 3: Get some MATIC. MATIC is the native token of the Polygon blockchain we are using in this project, you need it to interact with the chain. How can I get MATIC?
This is too complicated for me! How else can I get involved with Economic Space Agency?
Yes! There are other ways to participate:
  • Read the book. If you wait for other people to co-publish the whole book, you’ll be able to read or listen to it on this website for free very soon. Until then, you can read the parts of the book that have already been co-published.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase the book from Minor Compositions in the UK, or from AK Press or Autonomedia or from your own bookshop after November 1st, 2023.
  • Join our mailing list, follow on Econaut Medium , and Telegram
  • You can also join the ECSA Discourse Development Discord channel; even without a Unit you will have certain rights to follow the development of the discourse.
What is MATIC (Polygon)?
  • MATIC is the native token on the Polygon blockchain. MATIC is used for example to pay transaction fees on the Polygon network, to validate the network, and to govern the network (MATIC holders vote on changes to Polygon). Polygon is a proof-of-stake "Layer 2" scaling solution that wants to help Ethereum ecosystem expand in size, security, efficiency, and usefulness. It was earlier known as the Matic Network, created in 2017 in India, going live in 2020, and rebranded into Polygon in February 2021, but still retaining its native MATIC token.
  • You can check current the price of MATIC for example here or here.
  • More about MATIC here.
  • Polygon Network: Network name: Polygon Mainnet Network URL: https://polygon-rpc.com New RCP URL: https://polygon-rpc.com Chain ID: 137 Currency Symbol: MATIC Block Explorer URL: https://polygonscan.com/
How can I get MATIC?
  • You can buy MATIC on all centralized crypto exchanges, like for example Kraken, Binance and Coinbase. Just go to your account or open an account first. You can buy MATIC with crypto or other approved payment methods, including a bank account and a debit card.
  • You can also get MATIC directly through your Metamask. You can buy MATIC with crypto or by with fiat. Some limitations on the amount may apply. And when buying with fiat, a KYC process must be completed first also here. Also, some banks are known for not allowing crypto to be bought.
    1. 1.
      Connect your MetaMask wallet to portfolio.metamask.io.
    2. 2.
      Click “Buy” to get started.
    3. 3.
      Select your region.
    4. 4.
      Select payment method.
    5. 5.
      Select the token and network you want to purchase on (MATIC Polygon Mainnet)
    6. 6.
      Enter the amount desired in fiat
  • You can also buy MATIC on decentralized exchanges like Uniswap. Just go to the app, choose Polygon Network, connect your wallet. You can also use credit card for buying MATIC in Uniswap.
  • Here is a list of the most liquid MATIC markets and trading pairs.
  • You can check current the price of MATIC for example here or here.
  • Polygon Network: Network name: Polygon Mainnet Network URL: https://polygon-rpc.com New RCP URL: https://polygon-rpc.com Chain ID: 137 Currency Symbol: MATIC Block Explorer URL: https://polygonscan.com/
I don't see my NFT in the wallet?
  • Sometimes, in some wallets, the NFT does not appear automatically in the wallet and you need to “import” it. You can find instructions online by searching “how to import an NFT in this&this wallet?”
  • For example, in Metamask
    • Go to your wallet > NFT > Import NFT
    • Your wallet then asks for the NFT-collection’s “Contract Address” and the “Token ID”
    • Fill in the information: Postcapitalist Discourse Collection contract address: 0xb19e16Fa7bFa2924A17b77d0379FF6E2899E8397 Token ID: Fill in the number of your Unit of Discourse.
    • Click “Import” - and voilà! Your NFT is there :)
  • You can find out the Contract address and the Token ID also at the Open Sea Collection page:
    • Click to your token image
    • Then go to "Details" (at the bottom on the left)
  • Postcapitalist Discourse Collection by ECSA: Contract Address: 0xb19e16Fa7bFa2924A17b77d0379FF6E2899E8397
    Token ID: (from 1 to 601)
    Token Standard: ERC-721
    Chain: Polygon
  • Polygon Network: Network name: Polygon Mainnet Network URL: https://polygon-rpc.com New RCP URL: https://polygon-rpc.com Chain ID: 137 Currency Symbol: MATIC Block Explorer URL: https://polygonscan.com/
How to add Polygon network to my wallet? [RCP ERROR: Unrecognized Chain ID]
How to add Polygon network to my wallet? In order to mint the NFT you need to be connected to the Polygon mainnet, and have some Polygon native MATIC token in your wallet. If your wallet does not automatically switch to the Polygon Network when you click "Co-publish", you need to add Polygon Network manually. Just click "Add network" and fill in the information: Polygon Network: Network name: Polygon Mainnet (MATIC Mainnet) Network URL: https://polygon-rpc.com New RCP URL: https://polygon-rpc.com Chain ID: 137 Currency Symbol: MATIC Block Explorer URL: https://polygonscan.com/