Monday, January 26, 2009

One system-flow view: circuit schematics

Here's an idea for how to express systems and flows: use a parallel set of symbols and methods as used in electronics for schematics. When an engineer looks at a schematic of a circuit, he doesn't see nouns-predicates, he sees a flowing system with modifiers and transformations. 

A circuit modulates and flows electricity to create a desired effect. The current, electricity, flows in predictable (but not always intuitive) ways through the components. An electronic engineer can look at a schematic and "see" what the circuit does.

What if we could schematically diagram the Community Way system, for example? Would it become obvious to see that it only runs a short period of time (3-6 months)? Would it be easy to calculate the transaction fees required for overhead and system management? Would we be able to see the same effects as the spreadsheet numerically showed us, only in a flow diagram?

Would the symbols be directly equivalent to the most common electronic components? Capacitors store an amount of current and will release it back into the circuit when it becomes the largest store & potential. Resistors drain away power (converting it to heat). Transformers change the characteristics of the currency, shifting voltage (pressure) and current.

All of these things are present in ecological systems, transport and goods trading systems, and monetary systems. One question would be, what would be the "battery" or supplier of electricity in a monetary-circuit diagram? More over, what would actually be the electricity or motive force? What is actually in motion in a monetary system?

I think this would be a worthy perspective to add to the thought experiment and our exploration.

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