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newsletter Merit Exchange Newsletter

Vol. $vol, No. 2: April 13, 2009.

Merit Exchange to Move from Alpha to Beta Testing

After two-and-a-half months of alpha testing, Merit Exchange is ready to launch for beta testing, and will launch on Saturday, April 18th. Current testers will be allowed to invite their friends to join, and these users will be gradually allowed to begin inviting new users.

I would like to thank not only every person who has helped test the internals of the site, but also the numerous people who helped through conversations and sharing of ideas and advice.

During the alpha testing phase, we have implemented a number of new features and improvements, and we have a few small celebrations:

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An Honor Code Instead of Terms of Service

Merit Exchange has taken a novel approach to social networking, community building, and practical and legal issues in its choice to embrace an honor code in place of the typical "terms of service" used by most websites.

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Complementary Currency & Sustainability

The blind acceptance of the global financial system as merely a "neutral accounting system" has been pointed to as a misconception and a hurdle which needs to be overcome if humanity is to achieve the goal of sustainability.1 One aspect of the global financial system that is often accepted without questioning is the idea that economic growth is both necessary for, and synonymous with prosperity. The Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit organization committed to integrating entrepreneurship, prosperity, and sustainability, has put forth a different viewpoint, arguing not only that economic growth is not necessary for prosperity, but that it is often at odds with it. The institute argues that achieving sustainable development requires abandoning the idea that growth is required for prosperity.2, 3

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