I am so glad to have met Robin Upton at this year’s FOSDEM conference in Brussels. Robin initiated Altruists International a few years back and is doing elaborate non-formal research in the field of gift economies.
While at FOSDEM (where the only other talk I attended was about strophe.js, an XMPP library designed for the real-time web I was playing with recently) and visiting a chocolate factory outlet a bit outside Brussels, Robin, Dante and I mainly discussed his ongoing project Friend2Friend — a possible technical back-end to a fully independent and distributed gift economy. The software is still a prototype, but I believe it is important pioneering work that encourages new ways of thinking about our data, how it is processed and stored.
Robin is a kind and loving altruist and an inspiring thinker with a strong mathematics background. Believe it or not, his black framed glasses are actually fixed with sticky tape, hehe. Please do invite him to talk about his ideas! He will roam about Europe a bit longer and return to East Asia at some point.