add mkdocs config file and markdown pages

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# About cosmopool
## Independence
Cosmopool tries to be really independent:
* We do not feed the mass media and expect you to discount what they tell about us; talk to us directly or via a web of trusted friends! We reject advertising and usage of curtailing symbols.
* We do not accept donations from people not actively involved in this project.
* We put emphasis on privacy as long as (semi-)public information would be misused by commercial or institutional entities for steering or controllng us.
* We try to avoid using webservices from commercial entities and want to build decentralized infrastructure under control of those who use it.
* Our software license prohibits commercial use as well as use of the software for other purposes which we deem inappropriate: military, governmental and religious.
* We dont follow the rules of publicity and dont advertise our ideas on a market following the logics of spectacle, representation, value and money.
* We count on individuals who are independent of fashions and know what they want and do it. And we count on an atmosphere where this is cherished as the roots of a new culture.
The cosmopool software tries to be a tool, not just a toy, i.e., it is made to be used creatively and thoughtfully at the same time.
We are aware of the new trends in consumerism emphasizing sustainability but neglecting alienation; we refuse such shallow changes.

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# Communities
Collective attempts at living a better life are numerous in human history. Today our attempts are still failing, but not primarily due to oppression, poverty or lack of time. The more important reason is us! We have internalized the patterns which limit cooperation. Some people are still building groups, but the groups are rarely tied to each other.
To build a network of cooperating groups we need a new culture. This begins with how we interact with each other. Instead of reproducing the patterns of abstract value, competition and functionalism we can do this:
* Listen to others (instead of trying to dominate the discourse).
* Encourage people with good ideas. ()
* Be reliable. (E.g., bring back books which you lent from somebody.)
* Build trust.
* Be helpful.
* When having a conflict, get help from the community.
* Keep perspective. Dont get distracted with social drama.
* Be realistic. (Dont replace reality with imagination.)
* Be utopian. (Trust yourself and others to put imagination into reality.)
* Be communicative. (Quantity doesnt matter.)
* Be playful. (Freedom is the playfulness of thought and its transformation into action.)
All this needs to be learnt and requires [tools](

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# Concept
## Where we are
A seemingly inescapable game is going on, which produces winners and loosers. All who insist that they dont see an alternative are condemned to willingly or unwilligly strengthen the totality of this game. It tries to justify the mind of anybody towards making profit and selling a representation. The game is called money.
It is backed by the fear that its uncontrolled form, namely violence and war, might break through, if there were no institutions, including most prominently the state. These institutions keep up the collective illusion that the numbers printed on paper and small metal disks have a meaning, called value.
## A different perspective
With competition steadily intensifying, also the desire for something else is growing. People are rediscovering the commons, question intellectual property and begin to see that money is not everything.
A practical alternative is sharing of resources, which has always happened in human history. A resource is every material thing, each of your skills, all of your knowledge and maybe even your dreams.
## Sharing is the rule in communities
Many resources are shareable with others. Within a circle of friends it is common to share resources. Whenever people trust each other, things are being lent, used collectively, copied illegally, given away for free, made available permanently and explained while having fun; people help each other, give each other advice, and all this without charging for it.
Anything can circulate in such communities:
* Material things (the drilling machine, the ice crusher, the mobile home, …)
* Structural resources (the guestroom, the internet access, …)
* Skills and knowledge (computer skills, help in moving houses, repairing skills, …)
* …
See more [Examples](

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# Contact
Write email to
info ⓐ
or subscribe to the mailinglist [cosmopool-news]( for a few announcements per year.
If you are a developer and interested in participating, subscribe to [cosmopool-dev](

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# Examples
Here are some examples for sharing. If you are addicted to spectacle, play the money game instead. 
* share your books
* share a drilling machine with your neighbors
* put together and buy (still!) a high-pressure cleaner
* store the high-pressure cleaner in a collectively used workshop
* bring your broken computer to a group specialized on repairing computers; they will have spare parts and knowhow
* teach others how to sew
* share your [wireless internet connection](
Read more on the idea of [pool economy](

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## Sharing communities
Where can I find a list or map of cosmopool communities?
> There ist no list yet and probably there are no communities yet.
## Software
Can I use the software? When will it be ready?
> The software is still in development. The first developer version will become available in 2013.
Can I use the software on my mobile?
> A mobile version will be started when the current version will be finished.
What can I do while the software is not available? Are there alternatives?
> Try some of these [tools](
I have seen a screenshot of the cosmopool software. Why is it so complicated?
> Its actually rather simple, but its not what you are accustomed to from consumer products. Youll have to take some minutes to read the tutorial.
## Sharing
Isnt sharing illegal?
> Good luck, you are well conditioned. ☺
## Support
How can I support the cosmopool project?
> * Make it known to those who might want to use it: send the web address,, to your friends, put links on your own websites
> * Ask questions, be critical and creative. Participate in discussions. Help improving this website, contribute links and send corrections, see [contact](
> * Help coding

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# What is cosmopool?
Currently cosmopool is nothing but an idea (sketched here) and software (unreleased).
The idea is that building a truly sharing culture requires some tools for better communication.
"Cosmopool" refers to
* cosmopool-software: the software package
* cosmopool-ontology: the body of knowledge put into public domain
* cosmopool-tools: the collection of tools for building and maintaining local sharing communities
* cosmopool-network: the network of communities

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# Pool economy
Pool economy is not a theory and hopefully will never become an instrument for controlling people (by creating an image of reality according to which people then behave).
There are however some guiding ideas in pool economy:
## Communities
Individuals come together in communities which are autonomous and self-managed. In particular, each community may have a different pool economy, i.e., a different set of self-made rules, and different aspects which are considered important.
Note: A contrary opinion popular in postmodern thought holds that individuals participate in many small networks that are not persistent (as communities are).
## Choice of community
Each individual must be able to leave a community.
Communities decide on the rules of how they accept new members (steps, periods, conditions, …).
## Trust within a community
Communities try to make it possible for individuals to rely on each other in certain aspects. Individuals fail and communities reduce the impact on others (social cohesion). Communities are sources of trust. Also towards other communities:
## Trust between communities
Communities can freely agree on ways of cooperation. ln particular for economic transactions community A will want to rely on what community B promised. Also very important is permanence.
Note: In the game of money, reliability between individuals if enforced by laws, which put high pressure on them.
## Network of communities
Communities will have to find ways of interacting with each other:
* How to deal with conflicts
* How to remain independent
* How establish and maintain trust
## Ethical principles
Most important for communities is how the individuals treat each other and communicate with each other. It would be easy to invalidate the possibility of sharing just by bad talk.
Communities will quickly dissolve to the least common denominator of market capitalism, if they are not able to maintain ethical principles quite different quite different from the popular ones. This may give back to human beings the dignity which the game of money took away:
[Raoul Vaneigem: A Declaration of the Rights of Human Beings On the Souvereignity of Life as Surpassing the Rights of Man]( (23 MB)
For details on how all this might look like see [software]( and more [tools](

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# Sharing
## The [concept](
## Some [examples]( for sharing
## A sketch of [pool economy](

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# Software
Cosmopool software is still in development and not yet released. It will provide a webapplication for sharing your knowledge with others. It has these goals:
* decentralized architecture (server-related communties)
* privacy (fully only beyond the own server community)
* sharing of structured data with fine-grained access control (incl. user-defined groups)
* user-defined data structures (with emphasis on support for serial processing)
* emergence of commonly accepted data strutures through peer review
* usable with a common webbrowser, also on devices with small screens
* automatic searches and notification about hits
* simple messaging between users
* no rating system, but detailed comments (what can be read can also be commented)
The first production release will only support a single server and will come with a client not supporting smartphones. Find out more about its [features]( and participate in [development](
In the meanwhile, if you need to organized your knowledge without sharing it, you can try [webProtege](
The main motivation behind sharing of knowledge is to create an economy of sharing, a [pool economy](; thus the focus on serial knowledge.

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# Tools
Software or websites alone will not create a new culture. A lot more tools for interaction within groups are needed:
* other ways of communication
* different decision making (consensus oriented)
* more awareness, not trying to maximise political influence
* lots of experimenting and learning
* setting up explicit rules and reviewing them
Here is a collection of tools for meetings (which could use an update):
[Tools for meetings](
Any community will develop rules of behaviour; if these rules shall not become oppressive, they must be discussed and decided upon. What is still missing is a **pool of rules** so that not every community has to reinvent the wheel.

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# Internet resources
Here is a list of internet resources focusing on sharing or moneyless life:
## Software
(All of the following tools are different from cosmopool regarding user empowerment, privacy or community structure.)
* []( easily share your stuff and borrow from friends (community oriented; communities must pay money)
* [darudar]( gift giving website popular in Russia
* [freecycle]( simple mailing list (one per city) to announce gifts and wishes
* [freegle]( network of local groups to give stuff away, user base in mainly UK
* []( sharing platform (give + wish) emphasizing privacy
* []( neighborhood sharing platform, user base mainly in UK
* []( neighborhood sharing platform, user base mainly in Estonia
* [RetroShare]( Friend-2-Friend and secure decentralised communication platform
* [Vivir Bien]( Mapping resources for a solidarity economy
* [WhyOwnIt]( A smartphone app for lending, German language only
* []( "Safe & simple peer to peer sharing", requires Facebook account
* [neighborhoodfruit]( iPhone app for sharing edibles with neighbors
* [neighborgoods]( Save money and resources by sharing stuff with your friends
* [ourgoods]( a barter network for the creative community
During the last years there were also others, which went offline, e.g.:
* NutziGems and Conceptualized around 2003 and coded in PHP
* “Borrow, lend or rent anything with those you trust.”
* active 2012, oriented towards pupils
* until July 2013, see review
Other attempts:
* people around []( had ideas (1, 2) for a system to share information on what you are searching
## Theory and other resources
* [ (FAQ)](
* wikipedia on [gift economy](
* Book: David Graeber: Debt the first 5000 years
* []( — Re-Establishing Altruism As A Viable Social Norm
* [Anders leben wiki]( (german) — Collection of various practical ways to live without money
* []( — Scientific and public discourse on moneylessness
* []( — Collection of various texts on internet and gift economy (mirror; original site was hijacked by spambots)
* [open source ecology](
* []( (german) — Projektwerkstatt auf Gegenseitigkeit
* []( — a wiki about sharing
* []( — peer-to-peer tools and communities
* []( — "Connecting the collaborative economy", shows trends

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site_name: cosmopool - True sharing is moneyless
theme: readthedocs
- Home:
- Sharing:
- Concept:
- Examples:
- Pool economy:
- Software:
- Community:
- Communities:
- Tools:
- Links:
- About:
- About:
- FAQ:
- Contact:
- inline_graphviz