So, thanks, Jim, for sort of enjoying my piece. Yes, I also ran into people who actually worked at a "Cybernetics Institute" in Kiev during that year in Berlin: More of what I'm talking about, only, again, it sounded like they never had enough networked computer to make a go of it.

As I alluded to in my piece, "soft accounting" in some form will seep into the mix eventually. And yes, at some point we will have a "guaranteed" basic income of some stripe -- based on soft accounting. By soft accounting I mean money derived "extra profit" (invented out of thin air?). This would then be available to "complete the Keynesian loop," so to speak. It's very simple: A modern society needs unbelievable amounts of money to function properly, easily more money than any sort of classical business profit-generation could produce. But then this is only more proof of why money as the sole economic information device no longer works.

But if we still can't step out of the money mentality, yes, Keynesianisms are the only way forward. According to my calculations, a guaranteed base income would run in the trillions -- give or take a few billion depending on which 1st-world nation we're talking about. I don't think Reich's Keynesianism would work, though. In the U.S. we already have a "Earned Income Credit" thingy with our income tax, i.e., if you're income is at poverty level, you get an income tax "refund" (read free money); up to $7,000 for a poor family of four -- which, of course, could be expanded. Another idea (similar to Reich's) would be to take (most) payroll away from the private sector -- have the government pay a basic salary -- and anything above and beyond compensation-wise, the employer would cover. That means a business could possibly have free labor, no payroll, if it could get away with zero incentives.

Worries about inflation might be paranoiac. Does the presumably mindless "Invisible Hand" really care where the consumers got their spending cash? But deflation . . . et cetera, et cetera. (Laughing) I don't really want to work with money anymore! That's my whole point! The "embodied energy" index would be a far better supply-and-demand information device, wouldn't it? Reduce EE and you're rewarded with more logistical (I almost said economic) power.