Worst cases

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Worst cases are bad things that happen if we design or run this wrong. Success avoiding worst cases then leads us to best cases.

We pick licenses and hardware and design and content in order to minimize the risk of these things happening. Therefore we must exhaustively list them before we make binding choices. The Consumerium Governance Organisation will have to devote a lot of time to expanding this list.

Rather than edit a case, it's better to write a new one that is more general or more specific. Make the cases very specific or very general, but stick to things you think really can happen. If you think they can't happen, they are threats, and document them anyway, since someone thinks they can happen.


Consumerium's security plan or implementation of it is so bad that consumerium gets severely cracked and nobody no longer knows what's real and what's fake. This leads to some hot potato issues or lawsuits.


If we chooose to use Consumerium Software License two things could result:

  1. The anarchist types think that we are too "mainstream", "sold out" or control freaks and decide to make a GPL version that runs without any cooperation with the companies, that make and market products thus making strong worded, weakly substantiated attacks on companies and persons possible and the result is that this Anarchist Consumerium Fork stays out of the mainstream and never reaches the general population of consumers
  2. The executives at big businesses think that we're too anarchist, free speech and bad for "profit by exploitation"-practices and make a Proprietary Consumerium Fork for the opposite reasons from the Anarchists (This possibility does not very much depend on our choice of Licenses)

Consumerium simply doesn't work, and often clears purchases that are morally offensive to the customer, or just fails. Ultimately, it is ignored, and just gathers dust. Hardware acquired to run it is used for other purposes. Another good idea that failed. The reasons it might "not work" include at least:

  • bad data
  • buggy software
  • incompatible hardware

Company X and other enemies create their own modified schema, AND modified software. The modified software works with and even EXPECTS the altered grammar, and now you have a fork. Each promoter of a new fork gets "friendly" content poured into the altered grammar that we can't get first, and (depending on content license and source) can't even copy or validate. The "new improved" Corporate Consumerium takes over with careful marketing of itself to retails. These professionally-marketed alternative software turns the same green light or red light, but, with different criteria. The idea that "you own the hardware you decide what software will run on it, not the customer" is heavily promoted to the point of sale venue owner (retailer). Advertising benefits are tossed in. Since it serves the interests of retailers, and maybe pays them, it will be preferentially installed to use the standard hardware deployed to those retailers by Consumerium. We get crowded out, like Linux has been crowded out, and are used only in a few backwater places that the mainstream marketers ignore. Consumerium has maybe 2% of a market in moral purchasing, and does all the hard work, but is not the source of innovation.

Actually: There no hope of them ever giving consumerium any credit as a source of Intellectual Property (read: The Concept), so it won't be a fork in the sense that they would have to say it's based on GFDL'd material from http://consumerium.org . It'll just be a big money, fancy "service" that's not "not invented here". Big companies hate "not invented here" things.

Gus Kouwenhoven is involved in something, and we fail to boycott it. Somewhere, someone, who trusts Consumerium, goes to swipe the barcode and it comes up only yellow or green. Considering that all that Gus does in his life is pay hunters to shoot Great Apes to feed loggers to cut down rainforest to get money to buy small arms to swap to armed thugs for blood diamonds, which they then use to take over governments in Africa to provide more safe havens for Gus to do more of the same, this is really a worst case. A system that can't catch Gus at even one of these things is worthless, actually dangerous, because people will trust it, and it makes it easier for him to continue.


Hot potato lawsuits become a lawyer team sport as we get mroe influential on buying decisions.


Consumerium Governance Organization never gets created, and the Consumerium board lets Consumerium governance get so slack that some of the issues above are not promptly dealt with. The system loses some integrity. Board members resign in disgust. They are replaced with people of lower quality. These try to control everything (as lower quality people do) and so a CGO gets formed as a rebel organization, and everything built so far has to be attacked by it and destroyed, in order to create space for the high-integrity thing we wanted in the first place. A good many years are lost. In that time, Great Apes go extinct in the wild, rainforests are destroyed, and GMO KitKat McFlurry becomes the most popular snack food.


By default we adopt GPL or LGPL just to extend APC Action Apps or work more closely with TikiWiki or MediaWiki or MoinMoinWiki folks. No Consumerium Software License or Green Documentation License ever gets developed that could require a focus strictly on green purposes.

Content license is more crucial. It's a furious balancing act between becoming stale and winding up in a court room. Juxo

Unfortunately, using such overly-open licenses lets nonprofit arms industry lobby groups and a Global Warming promotion society, using billions of dollars in corporate funding, build the hardware requirements first and give away the hardware. We can't stop them - we've given our work away, and the license says they can use it any way they want, and modify any of the accounting standards or the score system, with no accountability.

Rotten fork has always been a threat scenario. Believe me that I've spent time thinking about countering it and the best I've come up with is to be just as open about the goals as I can to minimize the risk of hostile people and organisations from attacking the project with charges of secret goals. Also it's up to the people which fork they choose to use and support. If the "cuecat"-type-of-folks get down to implementation level before us, then we just have to refocus to provide high level web-based services and forget about online shelf front presence. Juxo

Of course, their version of Consumerium does not rely on any trustworthy styles of capital analysis, but instead, deliberately leaves ambiguous the most important facts about deforestation and arms trade. As a result, conflict in the world increases as a direct result of them now having our wonderful work to build propaganda fronts with. They can claim approval of all kinds of great looking front groups and show projects they have done, that a serious analysis show is just cosmetic.

We are forced to take up arms, ourselves, just to stop them... Ironically, by refusing to discriminate against them or their customers, we have become their customers... They are of course wildly happy with this result.

Institutional vs. Grassroots influence seems to be a battle going on right at this moment and I can't really see any reason to expect much change to that in the future. Mellow down [[troll] Juxo

Do any of the above seem unrealistic or impossible? Do you feel like deleting or toning it down? Don't, because someone believes in it. If you the author of it no longer believe in it, move it to threats. If you believe it is possible or likely, but actually a GOOD outcome, e.g. some people feel this way about human extinction, add a parallel case to best cases emphasizing these aspects, and feel free to add some mention of those issues here, but with "how they went wrong" (keep best and worst separate even if they are exactly the same case - remember that these labels may well be factionally defined but we need to agree on at least a few basic ones to decide what to avoid).