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Investing in an Economic Sector (Galactic Milieu)

Although we want to be able to zoom down to an individual character scale of play, the sheer scope and scale of the Galactic Milieu is such that the sheer amount of detail would be a mind-boggling amount of information. It would also consume huge quantities of date storage resources.

Also, it could make larger scales of play too mind-boggling to play.

Thus we approach the concept of Economic Sectors from an abstract perspective intended to be suitable for use from large scales of play before we zoom in to smaller scale details.

Our top level of abstraction is simply to designate a currency; just the currency itself suffices as our highest level abstraction of Economic Sectors.

We thus have such sectors as the United Kingdom Britcoin economy, the Canadian Digital Notes economy, the Martian BotCoin economy, the United Nations Scrip economy and so on.

To keep the game-mechanics of these abstractions simple we use the same mechanics for all of them, and expect to use the same mechanics for however many more Economic Sectors we implement.

One of the applications of these Economic Sectors is to provide choices that can be made by officers of Corps. The same decisions an executive officer of a Corp can make could also possibly be made available to shareholders of Corps whose shareholders hold voting rights. Thus the kinds of decisions made available should be kinds of decisions that are suitable for simple use in simple motions such as “it is moved that the Corp do this” or “it is moved that the Corp do that”.

At the same time it is desired that it be feasible to implement such decisions and decision-making in such a way that it is possible to confine the actions of a Corp to those that are not simply manoeuvres intended to defraud the shareholders. It might not be in principle actually possible to entirely prevent the officers of a Corp from causing the Corp to decline in value, or to prevent the shareholders of a Corp from passing a motion that causes the Corp to decline in value, but nonetheless it would be nice to be able to at least not make it blatantly easy to simply give away all the assets of the Corp.

These so called Economic Sectors are intended to help prevent such corruption by providing simple abstract categories of investment which do not directly pour invested assets into the coffers of some specific Corp or character or player or other similar entity.

Basically they let us allow choices such as “invest in this sector or in that sector or in that other sector” instead of possibly easier to abuse choices such as “give these assets or material to that Corp or character”.

However the details of these abstract sectors appear at smaller and less-abstract scales of play, this abstract view of them - indeed this abstract implementation of them - needs to present a relatively uncomplicated interface to players playing at this level of abstraction. From a programming point of view this could be expressed in the form of a relatively uncomplicated Application Program Interface (API).

To that end we limit the granularity of investment as well as the variety of “sectors”.

For example we could have for each currency's Economic Sector a 1000 units of that currency granularity subsector. We could also have a 10000 units of that currency granularity subsector. If we do this, however, we implement both granularities in the same way. Each would thus function as a distinct Economic Sector.

For example we could call the 1000 granularity subsector the Small Business sector or the Medium Business sector and the 10000 granularity subsector the Medium Business Sector or the Large Business Sector.

The actual implementation need not distinguish between sectors and subsectors, or at least not initially.

That is to say, initially it is not necessary that Economic Sectors which are anecdotally or linguistically apparently, seemingly or by implication of their names/titles related to be somehow programmatically tied to each other in some kind of attempt to actually implement some relation or interaction between them in the code. Whether we as human observers or as narrators or as players perceive or intend or believe that some Economic Sectors are subsectors of other Economic Sectors or not they each are implemented the same way and the implementation need not, at this current point in development, need any “that sector is our parent sector, those are our child sectors” type of functionality.

What the implementation does need to provide, however, is an ability to “invest” chunks of currency (the size of the chunk being the “granularity” of the sector) and an ability to “liquidate” portions of one's holdings of that sector.

In practice what we have so far is a model in which when you invest one chunk of currency into a sector your number of portions of that sector increases by at least one, but in which the liquidation value of one portion of that sector tends to be less than the investment granularity.

The result is that if investing one chunk of currency in it only increases your number of portions by one the total liquidation value of your total holdings in that sector will increase by less than the amount of currency the chunk consisted of.

For example if you invest one chunk of 1000 UKB into the granularity-1000 UKB sector your total holdings of that sector will increase in liquidation value by less than 1000 unless your number of portions of that sector increase by more than one portion.

The number of portions you own can increase even if you do not invest more chunks into the sector.

The number of portions you own can increase by more than one when you invest a chunk of currency into a sector.

If a sector is stagnant, increases in your number of portions of it are unlikely unless you stimulate it by investing a chunk of currency into it.

The more active a sector is though the more likely it is that your number of portions of it will increase.

Work is in progress on internal details of the implementation of Economic Sectors, including the possibility of characterising within it such things as goodwill, becoming a cultural fixture of the sector and other ideas or concepts along those lines.

As mentioned above, your number of portions of a sector can increase even if you do not invest again in that sector. Also your number of portions can increase by more than one when you do invest in one more portion of that sector. Labels lie “goodwill” and “being a pillar of the community” and “being a cultural icon” and such can be used to “explain” these occurences. Basically the underlying functionality causes these “winbdfall” gains algorithmically but the algorithms are such that over time, with continued investment in a sector, more and more categories of “windfall” accrue; and different cultures or theories can have different labels by which they purport to “identify” these categories.

The functionality itself is abstract; the labels exist merely to add “colour” to the game, to provide terminology that can be used in tales and anecdotes. All the sectors are run by the same underlying functionality but different sectors might have different terms they use to refer to the various categories of windfall gains.


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