[Linux-aus] Are you interested in helping?

Andrew Pam xanni at glasswings.com.au
Tue Mar 24 18:57:59 AEDT 2020

The FAIRshare Distribution System

The proposal:

A number of years ago around the time of the Queensland floods, I
suggested the need for software that could be used to fairly apportion
resources during a disaster. Now we are seeing what happens when people
and companies are left to themselves under extreme conditions.

Right now I am again suggesting that we need a software project that can
ensure fair distribution of goods and services, thereby curbing people’s
panic and ensuring we are all safe.

Stan Cox wrote a fascinating book called "Anyway You Slice It". One
important point he makes is that currently our society is rationing by
price point. If there aren’t enough bananas to go around, for instance,
the price of bananas goes up so that only those who can afford them get
to eat bananas. Price point rationing is not sustainable during an

We live in a complex interconnected society and losing segments of that
society to starvation endangers us all. Simply having people too poor to
seek medical help guarantees a society will not be resilient enough to
properly handle a pandemic, as we are already beginning to experience.

What I have in mind: the open source community has done an amazing job
in the past of creating and supporting important pieces of software. If
we pulled together a team of bright and concerned programmers, I’m sure
we could develop something that could at least help local communities to
manage their resources.

We would need to think about recording resources, calculating how much
is available over what period of time. We would also need to think
about: how to fairly distribute things; how to take into consideration
children, elderly, and people with illnesses, disorders, allergies,
disabilities, and more; how to let people redirect resources they may
not need, and perhaps be the recipients of resources others don’t need;
how a community can choose to allocate a certain amount of their
resources to a bigger project from which everyone will benefit; how
people can vote on resource allocation in a completely fair manner
(rather than simply first past the post); and finally, how to make all
of this reliable and transparent.

Giving people money when they are no longer allowed to work is helpful.
However when critical supplies and services run low for various reasons,
we need a system people feel they can trust in order to access what they

K Phelps, BA (Hons), MFA, PhD
0411 359 598
admin at friends-institute.org

mailto:xanni at xanadu.net                   Andrew Pam
http://www.xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
http://www.glasswings.com.au/             Partner, Glass Wings
http://www.sericyb.com.au/                Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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